Ibrahim Halawa's trial postponed for 12th time

Ibrahim's trial has been repeatedly postponed since his arrest in 2013

Ibrahim Halawa's trial has been postponed for the 12th time in Egypt today.

The 20-year-old Dubliner spent his third Christmas behind bars after his last trial was postponed on the 19th of December.

He is scheduled to appear in court again on March 6th.

Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has been campaigning for his release. She says the real anger needs to be directed at the Egyptian judicial system, which she claims is "now completely defunct... there's just no way you can get a fair trial":

Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said the latest adjournment "is clearly a matter of serious concern for all of us, and especially for Ibrahim and his family. Our Ambassador, Damien Cole, attended court today in Wadi al Natrun and spoke with members of Ibrahim's family.

“My Department is maintaining close and regular contact with Ibrahim, his family and his Egyptian legal team, and diplomatic officers from Ireland’s Embassy in Cairo continue to provide extensive consular assistance to him," Minister Flanagan added.  

The Dublin native has been in prison without trial since 2013 after he was arrested in Cairo during political protests there.

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

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

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

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.

Amnesty Ireland's Executive Director Colm O'Gorman said, “today’s delay further prolongs this horrific ordeal for Ibrahim and his family. He has been arbitrarily detained for more than 28 months without trial, living in harrowing conditions in an Egyptian prison cell. 

"Ibrahim’s only ‘crime’ was attending a peaceful protest and his continuing imprisonment is an inexcusable violation of both international and Egyptian law," Mr O'Gorman added.