Newstalk
Newstalk

08.16 12 Aug 2014


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An Irish teenager has appeared in court in Cairo having been arrested during demonstrations in the city last summer. Ibrahim Halawa (18) is facing a number of charges.

However it is understood the presiding judge has referred his case to another court. No hearing date has been set.

The trial is in relation to protests that took place on August 16th and 17th last year, where at least 97 people died.

The Irish ambassador to Egypt, Isolde Moylan, and other diplomats were in court. She briefed Mr Halawa's family after his court appearance today.

Amnesty International has concluded that Mr Halawa is a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression.

More than 400 of the 494 defendants are charged with murder and attempted murder, offences that are normally punishable by death under Egyptian law. The remainder are charged with offences including destroying public property, protesting without authorisation, attacking security forces and hindering the work of national institutions.

"A pantomime court process"

Mr Halawa was a 17 at the time of his arrest. He has since turned 18. Amnesty International has conducted a thorough examination of his case.

He and his three sisters were among those arrested after taking refuge in a mosque.

Amnesty says he was shot in his hand when the security forces stormed the building, but was not given access to medical care for his injury, and the only treatment he received was from a cellmate who happened to be a doctor.

He was held in detention with adults contrary to Egypt's Child Law, which provides that children must be held in juvenile detention centres and be separated from adults.

The executive director of Amnesty International Ireland, Colm O'Gorman, says he should be released immediately.

Originally published 08:12 


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