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Ibrahim Halawa should be released without delay – Adams

7 July, 2016 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD, speaking in support of an all-party Dáil motion calling for the release of Ibrahim Halawa this afternoon, has said the “Government should make an application for a Presidential Decree in Ibrahim’s case” and that he should be released without delay.

Teachta Adams said:

“I want to welcome the fact the Dáil is passing a cross-party motion calling for the release of Ibrahim Halawa this afternoon. Ibrahim is just twenty years of age, and he was only seventeen when he was arrested but has spent the last 1,054 days incarcerated in a filthy and over populated Egyptian jail.

“His trial has now been postponed an incredible fourteen times. He has also detailed the ill-treatment and torture he has faced, as well as what other prisoners have been subjected to. It is despicable.

“This Government’s strategy to date in attempting to secure his release has clearly failed, and I’m glad their attitude is shifting. I’m not saying the Government has done nothing for Ibrahim.

“We know the amount of consular visits he has received, but their diplomatic strategy has failed Ibrahim up to know.  The Government’s quiet diplomacy and the ‘wait for a verdict’ tactic before applying for the Presidential Decree has been a mistake.

“I welcome that the Government has now indicated that it will support an application for the Presidential Decree under Law 140 on Ibrahim’s behalf. 

“A successful application would allow Ibrahim to return to Ireland before a final ruling has been made in his case, and is used in cases where a deportation or extradition would serve the ‘higher interest’ of the Egyptian state. 

“At Ibrahim’s most recent trial the judge decided to release two defendants for no reason, and more worryingly, three of the 493 defendants in the trial have died since the last hearing. This shows how urgent it is for the Government to act now. 

“Hopefully Ibrahim will be home with his family and friends soon. The Government need to forcibly stand up for human rights and ensure our fellow citizen, Ibrahim Halawa, is urgently returned to Ireland.” 

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