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Free Ibrahim: EPP Group calls for release of Irish citizen jailed in Egypt

Date

17 Dec 2015

Sections

Public Affairs
Security

The EPP Group is calling for the release of an Irish citizen who has been imprisoned in Egypt since 2013 and denied the right to a fair trial.

Ibrahim Halawa, an Irish citizen born in Ireland to Egyptian parents, was arrested in Egypt in August 2013 following a protest in Cairo, aged 17 years old, and now faces a mass trial.

"After two years in prison, this young Irishman has not been afforded the right to a fair trial. We are also very concerned about the use of the death penalty in Egypt and the very nature of mass trials," said Seán Kelly MEP following the adoption of a joint European Parliament Resolution on the issue in Strasbourg today (Thursday).

A large number of death penalties has been handed down by mass trial in Egypt following the protests of 2013. These sentences and procedures are considered to be in breach of Egypt's obligations under international law. In strongly supporting this Resolution, the EPP Group has reiterated its opposition to the death penalty under all circumstances, and has called for a full moratorium on the use of capital punishment in Egypt.

Citing Article 10 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, the Resolution states that everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his/her rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him/her.

Today's majority vote by MEPs demonstrates EU support for Mr Halawa and for the Irish government's request for his release, according to Mr Kelly.

"The Irish government has made several representations to Egypt on this case. Today's EU-level Resolution further supports the call for fairness, human dignity and justice for Mr Halawa."

Mr Kelly added that he welcomes Egypt's ongoing facilitation of consular access for the Irish government to Mr Halawa and his legal representation.

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