Ibrahim Halawa's trial postponed for eleventh time

Ibrahim - who turned 20 last weekend - was just 17 when he was detained

The trial of Ibrahim Halawa in Egypt has been postponed for the eleventh time.

The Dubliner's case has been repeatedly delayed since his arrest two-and-a-half years ago.

The case will be heard again on January 9th.

Ibrahim - who turned 20 last weekend - was just 17 when he was detained for allegedly shooting at police during an anti-government protest in Cairo in the summer of 2013.

Egyptian law means he is part of a mass trial which can not proceed until all 494 defendants are present in court - something which has not happened yet.

A European Parliament resolution calling for Ibrahim's release has been rejected by Egypt's Foreign Ministry.

Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan spoke to the Dubliner's family following the latest postponement, and said they have been told that a witness who was called to testify was not present in the courtroom:

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Charlie Flanagan, has expressed his disappointment with the adjournment.

He says that the Egyptian government is in no doubt as to the Irish government's strong interest in Ibrahim's welfare and their wish to see him released.

"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," Minister Flanagan said, adding the case is receiving 'high priority' in his department.

However, Ibrahim's sister Somaia said she was not impressed with Flanagan's reaction to the trial postponement:

Reprieve, a human rights organisation, has said Halawa has been subjected to torture while in prison, including beatings and solitary confinement.

Ibrahim's lawyers say he faces murder charges and execution if found guilty.

Ibrahim is considered by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience, detained for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression and assembly.

Speaking after today's postponement, Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland, said, "as Ibrahim spends his 856th night in an Egyptian prison cell, Amnesty International continues to be gravely concerned for his mental and physical wellbeing, and again calls for his immediate and unconditional release”.

Somaia Halawa says her brother is an Irish citizen and he needs to come home.