FOR the first time in almost three years there appears to be real hope that Ibrahim Halawa, an Irish citizen interned in Egypt, will see justice.
Mr Halawa’s legal team is optimistic about a fresh application to the Egyptian president for his release. The Dublin man has spent three years in prison awaiting trial for allegedly taking part in an illegal protest in Cairo. Now 20, he faces the death penalty if found guilty.
Last month, both the Dáil and Seanad passed cross-party motions protesting against the detention but, in response, the Egyptian parliament described this as “unacceptable interference” in the case.
If anything, there hasn’t been enough “interference” by the Irish authorities and the reality is that any decision concerning his release rests not with the judiciary but with the Egyptian president.
Ibrahim’s solicitor, Darragh Mackin, is more hopeful that the current application will be more successful than the one made last February, especially now that the Irish Government is fully behind it.
It is essential that pressure is put on at the very highest level from the Irish Government.
If that means Taoiseach Enda Kenny “interfering” at the highest level, so be it. After all, the Egyptians have been interfering with an Irish citizen’s rights for almost three years.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved