Egypt rejects Irish parliament resolution calling for release of Irish-Egyptian prisoner

August 9, 2016

Egyptian MPs said in a statement on Sunday that they fully reject a resolution issued by the Irish parliament demanding that Egyptian-Irish citizen, Ibrahim Halawa, be immediately released from prison.

Ibrahim Halawa was 17 when he was arrested during a siege at the Al-Fath Mosque in Cairo in 2013. He has been imprisoned for over three years along with 492 others over charges including inciting violence, riot and sabotage. His family have said he had taken refuge in the mosque during violent clashes between supporters of Mohamed Morsi and the security forces.

Egypt parliament speaker Ali Abdel-Aal disclosed on Sunday that many MPs have asked him to issue a statement in response to the resolution passed by the Irish parliament on July 8, which criticises Halawa’s continued detention without trial.

“This resolution directed criticism at the judicial authority and demanded that Halawa – an Irish citizen of Egyptian origin – be released at once,” said Abdel-Aal.

“Halawa has been arrested, referred to the Egyptian judiciary, and interrogated,” the statement said, affirming the issued verdict should be respected. “Now it is only the judicial authority, which is headed by fair judges, that has the final say in terms of detention or custody,” said the statement.

The statement said that “nobody can interfere with the affairs of justice or judicial cases and any interference will be considered a crime.”

Abdel-Aal added that “Egypt’s House of Representatives is not in a position to deal with the resolution issued by the Irish parliament, which calls for the release of [Halawa] and for allowing him to return to Ireland in the nearest time upon the grounds that he is a ‘prisoner of conscience’.”

“This resolution directs accusations and represents an aggression against the Egyptian judicial authority and interference in the course of justice,” he said.

Ibrahim Halawa, from Firhouse in Dublin, has spent more than 1,000 days in prison. He faces a possible death sentence.


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