The Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales (“BHRC”) has today expressed its grave concern at the ongoing detention of Ibrahim Halawa, an Irish citizen detained without trial in Egypt for the last 3 years, and has called for his immediate transfer home to Ireland.
Mr. Halawa was arrested as a 17-year-old child on 17 August 2014, after attending a peaceful protest in Cairo. This Wednesday marks the third anniversary of his detention without trial, during which time he has been confined in a windowless cell, beaten by police, denied medical treatment or access to a lawyer, and seen his case adjourned on 14 separate occasions.
Mr. Halawa has been charged along with 493 other defendants for a range of serious offences including murder, a crime which carries the death penalty in Egypt. The Egyptian Government has not yet produced any evidence to support the allegations made against Mr. Halawa, who now faces the prospect of a deeply unfair mass trial alongside several hundred co-defendants.
In a formal statement of concern published today, BHRC highlights that a request is due to be made to transfer Mr. Halawa to Ireland under Egyptian Presidential Decree Law 140. This provision in domestic law provides for the transfer of an accused or convicted person from Egypt to their home country.
Chairwoman of the Bar Human Rights Committee Kirsty Brimelow QC said:
“Each of the individual aspects of Ibraham Halawa’s case constitutes a serious breach of international law. He has been subjected to several years of pre-trial detention, violently assaulted by the Egyptian police, and denied access to a lawyer or a fair trial. During part of this period, Mr. Halawa was a child.
Mr. Halawa’s urgent release is required, either on bail in Egypt or back home to Ireland under Egyptian Presidential Law 140.”
(Image credit: reprive.org.uk)