Taoiseach must ring President Sisi as second avenue for Ibrahim's release is highlighted - Lynn Boylan MEP
Dublin Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has said that she will contact An Taoiseach Enda Kenny to provide evidence of a second legal avenue that is open to Ibrahim Halawa.
Despite assurances in the last week from the Taoiseach that he would contact President Sisi directly, it appears that Mr Kenny is once again opting for soft diplomacy by writing a letter instead.
Speaking from Strasbourg today, the Sinn Féin MEP said:
"There are two very concrete options open to Ibrahim Halawa. The first is the Presidential Decree, Rule 140 which allows for foreign nationals to be returned home to face trial or serve out their sentences.
“While the Irish Government endorsed an application under rule 140 in July, Mr Kenny has insisted that this is a difficult option to pursue. Correspondence I received today from the Egyptian Ambassador to the EU outlines a possible second option available.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Cairo recently released a statement concerning the Presidential Pardon granted to 82 young people. Needless to say Ibrahim Halawa was not included among those 82 young people.
"The Ministry clearly stated that 'the Presidential pardon [for the 82] was issued in accordance with Article 155 of the constitution which allows for the President to issue pardons or mitigate final sentences after consulting with the cabinet'.
"As Ibrahim's seventeenth so called 'trial' approaches on December 13th, I am asking once again that Enda Kenny lift the phone to President Sisi and specifically outline the two viable options under Egyptian law that are available to Ibrahim Halawa.
“Some 82 young people were released last week, the fourth round of Presidential pardons this year with 859 prisoners released to date. With so many released surely the Taoiseach must now question his own approach to engaging with the Egyptian authorities.”