04/10/2017

Adams Raises Concerns Over Detention Of Ibrahim Halawa In Egypt

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has raised concerns over the continued imprisonment of Ibrahim Halawa in Egypt.

Mr Halawa, from Dublin, was acquitted last month on all charges relating to mass protests in Cairo four years ago.

However, no date has yet been confirmed for Mr Halawa's release from prison.

Speaking in the Dáil today, 04 October, Teachta Adams said it could be argued Mr Halawa is being illegally held.

"It's almost three weeks from September 18th when Ibrahim Halawa and his three sisters were finally acquitted of all charges.

"For his family and supporters that decision was a long time coming, but especially for Ibrahim who has spent the last four years of his life in prison.

"The family, and I'm sure Ibrahim, thought this was the end of a long nightmare. There was an expectation that he would be released within days.

"However, as of today Ibrahim has still not been released from prison and there is no hard information about when he might be. Arguably he is illegally held. What's the basis of holding him in prison?"

Mr Adams added Ibrahim's family had been told there is an issue surrounding paperwork, however he urged Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to do more to solve the situation.

"The Taoiseach told us today that he has written to the Egyptian President and that the Minister for Foreign Affairs has spoken to his opposite number in the Egyptian government but much more urgency needs to be adopted if Ibrahim Halawa's ordeal is to be brought to an end," he continued.

"I would urge the Taoiseach to pick up the phone and speak to President el-Sisi and to ensure that government officials are visiting Ibrahim to ensure his well being."

(LM)

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