Flanagan worried by "unfair and unjust" detention of Ibrahim Halawa

The Dubliner's trial was delayed for the 24th time earlier this month

The Minister for Foreign Affairs has expressed his concern over the continued “unfair and unjust” detention of Ibrahim Halawa in Egypt.

The Dubliner has now been held for 45 months without conviction – after his trial was adjourned for the 24th time earlier this month.

The next hearing will take place close the 4th anniversary of his arrest and detention during demonstrations against the ousting of former President Mohammed Morsi in August 2013.

Fundamental human rights

In the Dáil this afternoon, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said the latest delay to proceedings is a “shocking undermining” of Mr Halawa’s basic human rights adding that it is “exceptionally unfair given all of the previous commitments to allow the trial to proceed.”

He said the Dáil is united in its deep concern over the denial of the 21-year-old’s fundamental human rights and called on the Taoiseach to outline what is being done to secure justice for the Halawa family.

The Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he had spoken to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on two occasions directly and has “written him a very strong letter.”

He admitted it had been “a while” since he spoke to the Egyptian president but insisted the government had supported the all-party delegation that visited the Egyptian president in January.

Unfair and unjust

The Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said the latest delay to the trial is “worrying” adding that the “continuing detention of our citizen is unfair and unjust.”

He said he raises the issue with the Egyptian ambassador Soha Gendi every week – adding that she is “in no doubt as to the Irish Government's position on this issue:”

“I have to say now that I am concerned at the further adjournment now until July 4th,” he said.

“The reason for such a lengthy adjournment is because of Ramadan. In Egypt, during that season, the courts don’t - as a rule - sit.”

He said he raised the issue at EU level last week with a number of his European foreign affairs colleagues as with the EUs High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini.

“In the meantime, I assure the House that the welfare and health of our citizen is very much to the fore and we are making representations and monitoring the situation on a daily basis,” he said.

Mr Halawa’s next hearing is scheduled for July 4th 2017.

President el-Sisi has indicated that he will exercise his presidential powers to return Mr Halawa to Ireland following a verdict.