Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Seán Crowe TD, is attending a summit of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg this week.

Speaking after the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Nils Muižnieks, addressed the Assembly, Crowe called for European support to ensure that Ibrahim Halawa is released from jail in Egypt and allowed return home to his family and loved ones in Ireland.

Deputy Crowe said:

“An Irish and EU citizen, Ibrahim Halawa, has been imprisoned without trial in Egypt since August 2013, and has now been imprisoned for 986 days.

“When he was arrested he was 17 years of age legally a minor, but was placed in an adult prison and is being tried as an adult by the Egyptian authorities.

“He has absolutely no chance of a fair trial.

“Ibrahim is being prosecuted in a mass show trial with over 450 other defendants. He has only been allowed to meet his lawyer just once since his arrest.

“His trial has been postponed 13 times. The proceedings so far have been a sham.
Being held in a cell with hundreds of other he has been unable to hear proceedings or to testify in his defence.

“Last week the Egyptian authorities moved him from one prison to another without notifying his family or the Irish Authorities. In fact I would go as far as saying they misled officials in the Irish Embassy in Cairo and stated that they had not moved him to other prison. This was a blatant lie.

“The European External Action Services have failed to monitor these trials of a citizen of an EU country, but monitors other trials in Egypt for human rights violations.

“The European Parliament overwhelmingly passed a resolution which tabled by my Sinn Féin party colleague, Lynn Boylan MEP, which called for his unconditional release.

“I am calling on the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and its members to ensure that this Irish and EU citizen is released unconditionally and allowed to return to his family and loved ones in Ireland.”