Europe

Ibrahim Halawa: Irish teenager's mass trial in Egypt adjourned until March

Ibrahim Halawa Image copyright Halawa family
Image caption Ibrahim Halawa was arrested during a crackdown on protests in Cairo in August 2013

The trial of a Dublin teenager held in an Egyptian prison for almost two years has been adjourned until March.

Ibrahim Halawa, the son of the most senior Muslim cleric in the Republic of Ireland, was arrested during a siege on the Al-Fath mosque in Cairo in 2013.

The mass trial of Mr Halawa and more than 400 others began in March 2015, after being postponed five times since his arrest.

The 20-year-old could face the death penalty if he is convicted.

Mr Halawa was on a family holiday to his parents' homeland when he and three of his sisters were arrested by Egyptian security forces during a crackdown on protests in the country's capital.

He was 17 at the time.

His family said he had taken refuge in the building during violent clashes between supporters of ousted president Mohammed Morsi and the security forces.

His sisters were allowed to return to Dublin in November 2013.

Concern

The Republic's Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan, told RTE the adjournment is "a matter of serious concern". He said Ireland's ambassador in Egypt attended court and spoke with members of Mr Halawa's family.

The minister said the Department of Foreign Affairs is maintaining close and regular contact with Mr Halawa, as well as his family and Egyptian team.

Amnesty International has said it remains concerned for Mr Halawa's well being, and it has reiterated its call for his release.

It is the twelfth time legal proceedings have been adjourned since 2013.

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