All-Party Motion in the Seanad on Ibrahim Halawa

7 July 2016

That Seanad Éireann:

- notes that Ibrahim Halawa, an Irish citizen, has been detained without due process in Egypt for three years since being arrested as a child of 17 years-of-age;

- considers this to be an unacceptable infringement of his basic human rights by any international standard;

- believes that the conditions of his imprisonment are of serious concern, given his young age, the length of time he has been in detention, his separation from family and friends in his home country, and having regard to his general physical and mental welfare and wellbeing, all factors which have contributed to the extreme suffering and distress being endured by Mr. Halawa in these circumstances;

- acknowledges the tremendous distress his family in Ireland have been experiencing since Mr. Halawa’s detention;

- further notes that his trial date, along with over 400 co-accused, has been adjourned fourteen times and that the trial is due to resume in October, and that there is still no clear indication as to when it will conclude;

- recognises that he has been designated by Amnesty International as a Prisoner of Conscience;

- recalls that on the 17th of December, 2015, the European Parliament passed a resolution by 566 votes to 11, calling for the immediate release of Mr. Halawa;

and:

- requests the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade to invite the Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Her Excellency Soha Gendi, to appear before it to address the repeated delays in Mr. Halawa’s trial and to request her to convey to the relevant authorities in Egypt this House’s concern that Mr. Halawa should be released and allowed to return to Ireland as soon as possible;

- proposes that Seanad Éireann join with Dáil Éireann in establishing a Parliamentary delegation to visit the Egyptian Parliament and seek to arrange a visit to Mr. Halawa in prison;

- welcomes the confirmation from the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade that the Government will give its full and urgent support to a further application for Mr. Halawa’s release by Presidential decree under Law 140 from President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to allow Mr. Halawa to return to Ireland immediately and supports the Government in its continued efforts to secure Mr. Halawa’s release and, while he is in detention, to provide all appropriate consular assistance to him and his family, including through regular visits by Embassy officials to Mr. Halawa in prison; and

- resolves that this Motion be brought to the attention of the Ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Her Excellency Soha Gendi, so that she may convey it to the relevant authorities in Cairo.”