Following Minister Charlie Flanagan’s comments in the Dáil today concerning Ibrahim Halawa, Sinn Féin MEP for Dublin, Lynn Boylan, has questioned why the Minister is not insisting that Egypt be investigated by the European Union for breaches of Article 2 under the EuroMed Partnership Agreement. Article 2 states that all parties to the agreement will have "respect for the democratic principles & fundamental human rights established by the Universal Declaration of Human rights" (of which Egypt is a signatory).
Ms. Boylan said:
“I listened to Minister Flanagan state that he cannot interfere with the judicial processes of another country, even if it relates to an Irish Citizen in detention. While I understand the Minister's position, I cannot understand why he has not called for an investigation into Egypt’s breaches of the EuroMed Partnership Agreement under Article 2 at European Council level. In particular any such investigation should havereference to the Barcelona Declaration which refers to the freedom of expression, association, thought, conscience and religion.
"Ibrahim Halawa is the only citizen of an EU Member State behind bars in Egypt. His ongoing detention, having been a minor at the time of his arrest and having been declared a 'prisoner of conscience' by both Amnesty and Reprieve, must surely warrant an investigation?
"If Ireland, as a party to the EuroMed Partnership, believes that Egypt is in contravention of its obligations under the agreement, the Irish government can request that action be taken against Egypt. If such contraventions are related to human rights, urgent action can be initiated.
“It is baffling that Minister Flanagan has consistently refused to ask Taoiseach Enda Kenny to intervene in Ibrahim's case. It is now even more baffling that the Minister will not insist that an investigation into Egypt's breaches of the EuroMed Partnership takes place immediately.”