Amnesty International: Halawa trial delayed for 19th time

The trial of Irishman Ibrahim Halawa in Cairo as Egypt has been adjourned again today, according to Amnesty International.

Halawa, who faces a possible death penalty, was a child when he was first arrested in August 2013 and has now spent 1,277 days in prison.

His trial has been rescheduled for March 22. Amnesty International understands that the case was adjourned today following petitions from a number of defendants.

According to the charity, a report on audio-video evidence presented at the last trial date, and seen by Amnesty International, “suggests that out of the at least 330 defendants currently detained in the case, there is only information relating to two defendants. It does not even mention Ibrahim Halawa”.

Colm O’Gorman, executive director of Amnesty International Ireland said: “Ibrahim’s innocence has been further vindicated by Egypt’s own legal system, which following a technical review of video material from the night of his arrest, found no evidence against him.

“It tallies with what Amnesty researchers on the ground at the time assert, that Ibrahim was in al-Fath mosque and could not have committed the violent crimes with which he has been charged.

“Amnesty International has also conducted a thorough, independent review of the prosecution evidence and concluded that Ibrahim was arrested solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of assembly and expression. This report validates that conclusion.

“It is long past time that this young Irish citizen should be released and allowed to return home to Dublin.

“He has now spent almost three and a half years living in truly horrific conditions in different Egyptian prisons and has endured 19 trial delays.

“Ibrahim is a Prisoner of Conscience detained solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression and assembly. His continuing imprisonment represents an inexcusable violation of both international and Egyptian law.”

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