Minister Flanagan statement following further adjournment of Ibrahim Halawa case19 December 2015
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Mr Charlie Flanagan, TD, has expressed his serious disappointment and concern following another adjournment in the case of Irish citizen, Ibrahim Halawa, in Egypt.
Speaking following the adjournment, he stated:
“I am extremely disappointed by this further adjournment of Ibrahim Halawa's trial. I am also worried by reports that the laywers involved in this trial have collectively withdrawn from the case and I hope this matter can be resolved as soon as possible.
"I remain very concerned about the length of time that Ibrahim has spent in detention and I have conveyed this concern directly to the Egyptian government.
“This case is receiving high priority in my Department. Officials from Ireland’s Embassy to the Arab Republic of Egypt represented the Irish Government at today’s hearing in Cairo.
“This case is being followed extremely closely by my Department and our Embassy in Cairo has been represented at all hearings to date. While this Irish citizen remains imprisoned, the Government continues to focus on his welfare and he and his family have received comprehensive consular assistance from my Department. Embassy officials have visited Mr Halawa in prison on numerous occasions, most recently on 23 November.
“The attendance at the hearings and the many consular visits reflect the seriousness with which the Government approaches this case. My Department will continue to provide appropriate consular assistance to Mr Halawa and his family, and will continue to try to secure positive progress for him at the earliest possible date.
“While the lengthy nature of the trial and the many adjournments are clearly frustrating for Mr. Halawa and his family and for all of us who wish to see Ibrhaim home in Ireland, the Government is resolutely focused on achieving a positive outcome for this citizen at the earliest time possible.
“There is ongoing contact between the Taoiseach and Egyptian President al-Sisi and I have intensively engaged with my Egyptian counterpart Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on numerous occasions. The Egyptian Government is in no doubt as to the Irish Governments strong interest in Mr Halawa’s welfare and our wish to see him released.”