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Irish Prisoner of Conscience Ibrahim Halawa at risk of torture and other ill-treatment in Egyptian prison

Amnesty International expresses deep concern for welfare of Irish Prisoner of Conscience Ibrahim Halawa at risk of torture and other ill-treatment in Egyptian prison.

Mass trial of 494 defendants who could face death penalty in Egypt was adjourned to 26 April.

Amnesty International today expressed concern for the welfare of defendants in a mass trial of 494 defendants which was adjourned today in Wadi al Natroun prison, north of Cairo after lawyers of some defendants submitted petitions to the court. The trial has been adjourned until 26 April 2015 for petitions to be considered. 

The lawyers for Ibrahim Halawa, one of the defendants, appealed to the court to release him on bail presenting evidence that he is innocent of the charges he is facing, was a minor (17) at the time of arrest and that he is an Irish citizen. The Irish Government’s Ambassador to Egypt Isolde Moylan was present in courtroom for the hearing. 

Amnesty International today expressed serious concern that this travesty of justice is continuing without end.

Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland said: 

“Amnesty International is extremely concerned not only at mass trials where defendants face trumped up charges without consideration of each defendant’s individual criminal responsibility. We are further concerned for the immediate safety of the detained defendants especially Irish Prisoner of Conscience, Ibrahim Halawa. 

"The detention conditions he is being reportedly held in amount to psychological torture given he would be surrounded by prisoners sentenced to death and waiting to be executed. Added to this is the psychological impact of being held in a cell which has housed prisoners who were subsequently executed." 


Ibrahim Halawa’s family fears that he is being subjected to torture and other ill-treatment in the prison. Amnesty International is deeply worried about the impact of Ibrahim’s arrest and ongoing detention are having on the health and wellbeing of this young man. 

Ibrahim has now been in detention for over 19 months. He was 17 years old when arrested, and has been held without trial since that time. If convicted he could face the death penalty. There is no doubt about the fact that his detention conditions and treatment in detention fall far short of International Law Standards. Egypt’s prison environment is harsh and there are grave concerns about the conditions and treatment of prisoners there.” 

Today, as the latest developments unfolded Mr. O’Gorman addressed a meeting of Amnesty International global leadership in The Hague on the case of Ibrahim Halawa, where more than 65 countries were represented. Amnesty International restated the demand of the movement for the immediate and unconditional release of Ibrahim Halawa with all charges against him dropped as he is a Prisoner of Conscience, detained solely for exercising his right to freedom of expression and assembly. 

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