Minister Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, TD, has expressed his concern over the case of Ibrahim Halawa, the Irish citizen who has been detained in Egypt since August 2013.
Speaking this evening Minister Flanagan said:
“I am very concerned about the continuing delay in the hearing of the case involving Ibrahim Halawa. I know that the deferral of the case today is a great cause of concern for Ibrahim and his family, as it is to me and the Government.
“I have repeatedly emphasised the importance of due process in this case and in a number of calls to the Egyptian Foreign Minister, Minister Shoukry, I have emphasised that Ibrahim was only seventeen when the alleged offences took place, and that he planned to return to Ireland immediately if released.
“Clearly, Ireland cannot interfere with the judicial process in Egypt. However, it is my view and, indeed, the Irish Government’s view that Ibrahim, as a minor, should not be tried as part of a trial involving a large number of defendants and on the basis of sweeping group charges, but solely on the basis of specific evidence.
“Ireland’s Ambassador to Egypt, Isolde Moylan, was in court this morning and continues to be in close contact with the Halawa family. Ambassador Moylan and our consular experts in the Department will continue to provide all possible assistance to Ibrahim and his family, both in Dublin and Cairo.
“Officials from our Embassy in Cairo – including the Irish Ambassador – have visited Ibrahim over twenty times in the past year. They have also taken every opportunity to raise his case with the Egyptian authorities.
“I have taken a close personal interest in this case and myself and my Department will continue to provide all assistance possible.”