Today the Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade will vote on a motion tabled by myself as follows, ‘That this committee requests the Taoiseach to contact the President of Egypt in relation to the Ibrahim Halawa case’. Ibrahim, an Irish citizen was arrested during the political turmoil in 2013. Amnesty International has described his trial as a ‘mockery of justice’ and has stated that his life is in ‘grave danger’. Ibrahim’s sister, Somaia has come in to support the motion. Since his arrest Ibrahim has had to endure conditions described psychological torture by Amnesty International. Ibrahim, was imprisoned in a section of the Egyptian prison previously inhabited by prisoners who were sentenced to death and subsequently executed.
Australian Prime Minster Tony Abbott held a meeting with Egyptian President seeking release of Australian citizen Peter Greste, who was released imprisoned for 400 days. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has personally raised the case of Canadian citizen Mohamed Fahmy and has secured his bail after over 400 days incarceration. Ibrahim Halawa, an Irish citizen, has been held in deplorable conditions for over 600 days, Senator Daly has stated ‘After 600 days the time for quiet diplomacy are over’. The motion did not receive adequate support to be call on the Taoiseach to intervene. However it was progressive in that the Committee will now write to the Taoiseach and express it’s desire for the successful precendet, as demonstrated by the Australian and Canadian Prime Minsters be replicated.