Government must intervene now on behalf of Ibrahim Halawa

unite-white-out-of-redUnite has today urged Taoiseach Enda Kenny urging him to intervene personally with the Egyptian authorities to secure the release of young Dublin man Ibrahim Halawa.  The call comes on foot of reports that Mr Halawa’s health has deteriorated significantly in recent weeks.

Commenting, Unite Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly said:

“Ibrahim Halawa has been in jail in Egypt for the past three-and-a-half years after attending a demonstration in Cairo, and his trial has been postponed nineteen times.  Following a thorough investigation of his case, Amnesty International has determined that Ibrahim is innocent of the crimes of which he accused, and that he is a prisoner of conscience imprisoned solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression and assembly.

“His health has deteriorated significantly, and there are now very real concerns that he may not survive to trial.

“Mr Halawa is an Irish citizen, and deserves all the protection and assistance which the Irish state can afford him.  I would urge the Taoiseach to intervene personally with Egyptian President el-Sisi to seek Mr Halawa’s immediate return to Ireland and to make it clear that failure to release this seriously ill young prisoner of conscience will have consequences for Irish-Egyptian relations.

“As we mark the European Action Week Against Racism, it is important that all Irish citizens – regardless of their ethnic or national origins – be reassured that the state will leave no stone unturned to assist its citizens abroad and defend their human rights”, Mr Kelly concluded.

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