Europe

Ibrahim Halawa: Irish man's Egypt trial adjourned again

Ibrahim Halawa
Image caption Ibrahim Halawa has been in prison since 2013

An Irish man jailed in Egypt since 2013 has had his trial delayed again.

Ibrahim Halawa was 17 when he was arrested during a siege at the Al-Fath mosque in Cairo.

He has been accused, along with more than 400 others, of inciting violence, riot and sabotage.

Mr Halawa's solicitor, Darragh Mackin, tweeted that it was "disappointing, but not surprising" that his trial had now been adjourned until 12 November.

He said it was the 15th time the trial has been adjourned.

The Irish Department of Foreign Affairs said that the hearing did not proceed on Sunday as 2 October was designated the start of Hijra (Islamic New Year) and a public holiday in recent days.

'Seeking urgent clarification'

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan spoke to Egypt's Ambassador to Ireland, Soha Gendi, about the matter.

"I am very disappointed that the case hearing did not go ahead," Mr Flanagan said .

"We are working closely with Ibrahim's family and with his lawyers in Dublin and Cairo."

He said Ireland's Ambassador to Egypt, Damien Cole, spoke to Mr Halawa's Egyptian lawyers.

"We are seeking urgent clarification from the Egyptian authorities in respect of the next hearing date," said Mr Flanagan.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Australian journalist Peter Greste, who shared a cell with Mr Halawa for a time, said there could be no justification for the further adjournment

"I want to reaffirm to Ibrahim, his family and his friends of my own and the government's ongoing commitment to secure his return to Ireland as soon as possible and to ensure his welfare during his detention," he said.

Al-Jazeera journalist Peter Greste, who shared a cell with Mr Halawa for a time, tweeted: "There can be no justification for yet another adjournment in this trial. This is imprisonment by administrative neglect."

Ibrahim Halawa, from Dublin, is the son of Ireland's most senior Muslim cleric.

Three of his sisters were also arrested at the Al-Fath mosque, but were later released on bail.

The family say they were on holiday at the time and had sought refuge in the mosque to escape the violence outside.

They deny claims that Ibrahim Halawa is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is Egypt's oldest and largest Islamist organisation.

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