Minister Flanagan's statement on Ibrahim Halawa case12/11/16
Minister Flanagan’s statement on Ibrahim Halawa case
•Minister expresses concern and frustration at latest delay in Halawa court case
•Government is giving its full support to an appeal for Ibrahim’s return to Ireland under Egyptian Law 140, and is applying maximum pressure on Egypt in this context.
•Government continuing to provide consular support to Mr. Halawa and his family
Speaking after today’s hearing in the case of Ibrahim Halawa in Egypt, Minister Flanagan said:
“My thoughts today are with Ibrahim Halawa and his family as he endures the disappointment of yet another adjournment in his court case in Egypt.
“Ireland’s Ambassador to Egypt, Mr Damien Cole, led an Embassy observer team at today’s hearing. Officials from our Embassy in Cairo have attended all hearings in the case to date.
"Our understanding is that the trial has been adjourned until 13 December as a number of the defendants were not present in the Court. This is linked to heightened security concerns in Cairo, following planned protests in recent days.
“Our priority remains to see this young man returned to Ireland and to his family as soon as possible.
“The Government will continue to use every possible opportunity to underline our concerns about this case to the Egyptian authorities, both bilaterally and with the EU and other partners.
“Ibrahim’s lawyers have submitted an application for his return to Ireland under Egypt’s Decree 140 Law, and the Government is giving this initiative its full support. The Taoiseach has been in direct contact with President el Sisi asking him to give positive consideration to the Decree 140 application. I have had a number of contacts with my Egyptian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, endorsing the application for Ibrahim’s immediate release.
"I discussed the case with Minister Shoukry most recently on November 1st, when I once again repeated our call for this citizen’s immediate return to Ireland.
“In light of today’s developments, we will be pursuing further contacts at the highest levels with Egypt to address Mr. Halawa’s continued detention and to again call for his immediate return to Ireland.
“I want to reaffirm the Government’s and my own personal commitment to secure Ibrahim Halawa’s return to Ireland as soon as possible and we will be continuing to examine and explore all possible options for action that can help to achieve that objective.
"Our Embassy has been monitoring Ibrahim's health and welfare since his detentionand Ambassador Cole raised the issue with the Prison Governor on his last visit to the prison. I welcome today's order by the Judges that Ibrahim receive a full examination and that this be reported back to the Court.
“Our Embassy in Cairo and our Consular team in Dublin will be continuing to offer all possible consular assistance to Ibrahim and his family.”
12 November 2016