Lynn Boylan MEP challenges Charlie Flanagan's lack of urgency on Ibrahim Halawa's detention

7 March, 2015 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

In August 2013 a 17 year old Dublin lad from Firhouse having just completed his leaving cert was arrested and thrown into a jail in Egypt.

His crime? Attending a protest.

He has remained there ever since.  His friends have gone onto college.

Three times he has come before the Egyptian courts along with hundreds of other prisoners. These mass trials do not allow legal representation for all of the accused. Three times he and his family have got their hopes up, hoping that the judge would see sense and come to the same conclusion that human rights organisations, Reprieve and Amnesty who have investigated his case have come to and that is that he has no case to answer.

Instead three times the trial has been postponed at the last minute.

Dashing his and his families hopes.

The only comforting thought was that he had built up a friendship with his cell mates, three Al Jazeera journalists including Australian Peter Greste.  In February, these journalists were released he was not.

I have deliberately not mentioned this young boys name because I believe it is part of the reason why for 2 years a young Dublin lad has been left languishing in a prison despite the fact that he was a minor at the time of his arrest.

You see this young GAA, Irish speaking lad isn’t called Patrick or Sean or David

He is called Ibrahim, Ibrahim Halawa.

I don’t believe for one minute that Minister Flanagan is doing everything in his power to bring Ibrahim home.

I have this message for the Minister, if this was your son Charlie, would he still be in prison? Here is my advice Minister, pick up the phone and phone the Australian government and ask them how it’s done because clearly you are failing.