Fourth anniversary of Ibrahim Halawa’s arrest in Cairo marked by supporters

Family and supporters hold demonstration outside Egyptian embassy in Ballsbridge

The continued detention of Dublin man Ibrahim Halawa in a Cairo prison was marked with a demonstration in Dublin as he completed his fourth year in jail.

Supporters of Mr Halawa gathered outside the Egyptian Embassy in Ballsbridge at lunchtime to reaffirm their message that the young man must be released immediately.

Mr Halawa (20) has been in prison since August 2013, when he was arrested at the Fateh mosque in Cairo during protests against the ousting of then president Mohamed Morsi.

Members of Mr Halawa's family attended the protest which was organised by Amnesty International.


His sister Somaia Halawa told The Irish Times that the coming days, where a verdict was expected in the mass trial in Egypt, were going to be the most difficult.

“This is a mass trial he completes his fourth year today and it’s just a fact that that the coming days are going to be the hardest because when it comes to a verdict it’s very hard to know how Ibrahim is going to react to that and how the world is going to react to that.

“The fact that we have had to wait for four years is very painful. We welcome the message that Minister Coveney has sent today. I think it’s time we see results. A time will come were Ibrahim will have no hope left so we need to see results.”


Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has said the Government is determined to see the release of the Irish citizen.

"I want to reaffirm my determination and that of the Irish Government to seeing this young man released from prison in Egypt and returned to his family in Dublin so that he can resume his life and his studies," said Mr Coveney.

Mr Halawa, is on trial with 492 other prisoners. His trial has been adjourned at least 30 times.

Actor Pauline McLynn was among those at the protest and said Mr Halawa was the “classic case” of a young man who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“He was in the wrong place at the wrong time, possibly through curiosity or an interest in the country his forbearers are from,” said Ms McLynn.

In a further statement, Mr Halawa’s family said: “Today we say that four years is too much – four years in an Egyptian prison, four years of a mass trial, four years of hope of freedom that never came true, four years of waiting.”

“One day is too much, four years is torture. We miss our brother desperately.”

Amnesty International Ireland said Egypt continued to ignore its obligations under both Egyptian and international human rights law.

Executive director Colm O’Gorman said the organisation had conducted a “thorough, independent review of the prosecution evidence” and had concluded that Mr Halawa was arrested “solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of assembly and expression”.

The organisation called on the Egyptian authorities to drop all charges against him and to order his immediate and unconditional release and urged the Government to continue working on his behalf and to use every means at its disposal to secure his release.