Government must change strategy to save Ibrahim Halawa following latest trial delay

17th May 2017

Following today's announcement that Ibrahim Halawa's trial was adjourned again for the 24th time to the 4th of July, Green Party Deputy Leader and TD for Dublin Rathdown Catherine Martin said:

“Yet again we express our sorrow and disappointment for Ibrahim and for his family. The travesty of justice continues.

“We have always been aware that Egypt is the country that is unlawfully holding Ibrahim and treating him so badly but we have equally always been conscious that it is the Irish Government's duty to protect Ibrahim and vindicate his human rights.

“The time has truly come for the Irish Government to finally admit that their strategy has not worked. President Sisi has said since early 2015 that Ibrahim would be released when the trial process was concluded but as we can all see the trial is not concluding anytime soon.

“Therefore, the Irish government has to change tack. We have accept that waiting for the conclusion of an unfair mass trial was problematic from the start but now Ireland has to give up this line of thinking or talk of progress when there is clearly very little progress.

“Egypt has led us on a merry dance.

“We have not yet deployed all the elements of a diplomatic or political toolkit in these cases including trade sanctions and deals and most particularly we have not raised Ibrahim's case at EU Council level.

“Why not? Why are we sticking to a strategy that in itself is exacerbating Ibrahim's isolation and feeling of abandonment; why we won't pull out all the stops and why we continue to act with Egypt as if all was rosy in the garden. It is not.

“They are illegally interring and abusing our citizen and we simply have to elevate Ibrahim as a foreign policy priority and escalate this situation to the EU and other international partners.”

“At what point will the Irish Government admit the truth that under the current strategy Ibrahim could spend another year or more awaiting freedom?”