Published: Tue, 19 September 2017
MEP for Ireland South and Leader of Fine Gael in the European Parliament, Seán Kelly, has welcomed Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s call for imprisoned Irishman, Ibrahim Halawa, to be released as soon as possible so that the Irish government can facilitate his return home, following his acquittal today (Monday).
MEP Kelly, who was an author of the European Parliament’s December 2015 resolution that called on the Egyptian authorities to release Mr. Halawa “immediately and unconditionally” to the Irish authorities, added that Halawa’s inability to get a fair trial for four years is a clear violation of his human rights.
“I am pleased that we finally have a verdict in this ongoing case, which with all the postponements has turned into a saga. Whatever the circumstances, every person is entitled to fair and independent hearing. Between constant postponements and the use of the mass trial format, Ibrahim has been denied his basic human rights over the past four years.
“Lest we forget, Ibrahim was still a child when he was first arrested. He has had to endure a period of hardship that is beyond what most of us could imagine while his trial was postponed repeatedly, and that is simply unacceptable.
“I was the first MEP to raise this issue in Parliament almost four years ago and could not have imagined then that it would be September 2017 before we would see a verdict. I welcome that we have arrived at the end of this awful time for Ibrahim and his family, and I look forward to his return to Ireland where he can finally resume his studies and get on with his life”, he concluded.
Mr Kelly also paid tribute to the Irish government’s diplomatic efforts in relation to Mr Halawa’s case.