Oireachtas delegation meets Ibrahim Halawa - Eoin Ó Broin TD
Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Mid-West Eoin Ó Broin today met with Ibrahim Halawa in Wadi el Natrun prison in Cairo as part the cross party Dáil delegation that traveled to Egypt to lobby for the young Irishman’s release and return to Ireland.
Deputy Ó Broin said:
“Today was the first day of the cross party Dáil delegation to Cairo seeking the immediate release of Ibrahim Halawa and his safe return to his family and friends in Ireland.
“This morning we met with human, civil & women’s rights groups who expressed concern with what they described as the deteriorating situation for NGOs and for human rights in Egypt.
“We also met with independent MP Anwar el-Sadat & separately with Minister for Trade Traek Kabil and pressed the need for Ibrahim to be returned home to Ireland.
“At all of the meetings I and the other members of the delegation made clear that the Dáil is unanimous in our desire to see Ibrahim returned home..
“The main focus of our day was a very emotional visit to Ibrahim in Wadi el Natrun prison. Ibrahim is strong and very brave but the physical and emotional strain of spending three years and four months in prison without trial is clearly showing.
“He told us of the poor conditions in which he is being kept, of his ongoing medical problems but most of all of his burning desire to return home.
“The delegation was particularly concerned to hear that he has now been refusing food for the last 8 days.
“This young Irish man has broken no law, was not involved in any act of violence, is not a member of any political organisation. He was simply exercising his right to freedom of expression and for that, at the age of 17, was imprisoned.
“His continued detention without trial is in breach of the old and new Egyptian Constitution and is undermining the future development of bilateral relationships between Egypt and Ireland
“There are legal mechanisms available to President El Sissi to have Ibrahim Halawa returned home to Ireland. We all gave Ibrahim a commitment that tomorrow when the delegation meetings the President we will be pressing this message with a single clear voice in an attempt to secure his release.”