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Lynn Boylan MEP expresses dismay at Ibrahim Halawa's absence from Sisi's recent Youth Amnesty.

14 March, 2017 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Sinn Féin MEP, Lynn Boylan has reiterated her call to An Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister Charlie Flanagan to fight harder for Ibrahim Halawa's inclusion on the list of youth prisoners being assessed by the Detained Youth Committee.

Speaking from Strasbourg, Ms Boylan said:

"Yesterday, President Sisi released 203 youth prisoners, bringing the total number of young prisoners released to date to 285.  Ibrahim Halawa was not included on that list.  In October 2016, when the Detained Youth Committee was established to review the cases of all juveniles held since 2013, I urged the Irish Government to move quickly to ensure that Ibrahim was included in the list of prisoners up for review. 

"In November, I repeated that call when 82 youth prisoners were released, and in January this year I asked that the Irish Parliamentary Delegation to Cairo express that wish directly to President Sisi.  It is therefore beyond frustrating that today I receive an email from the Ambassador of Egypt to the EU heralding the release of another 203 prisoners of which Ibrahim is not one.  To add injury to insult, the statement goes on to say that priority was given to individuals who suffer from critical health conditions.

"Ibrahim Halawa has been moved to a prison hospital because of his failing health, he is receiving glucose injections for critically low blood sugar levels and he is currently in a wheel chair.  Enda Kenny must insist that Ibrahim be considered for the youth amnesty list. 

"It is my firm belief from all of my conversations with the experts on such human rights cases in Egypt, that in order to get President Sisi to interfere in Ibrahim's case prior to sentencing,  the political cost must outweigh the loss to his political capital by interfering.  The Irish Government should now call the Egyptian Ambassador to Ireland and set out quite clearly that Ireland wants its citizen returned."

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