After a long delay, Egypt’s Court has postponed a verdict in the mass trial of Irish juvenile Ibrahim Halawa and 493 other prisoners, who were arrested after the military coup in 2013.
There were expectations that the trial process was coming close to the end, however the judge has postponed the trial to October 2nd. in the hearing session in Wadi al-Natrun prison. The judge also agreed to consider video evidence for the first time.
The video evidence has been available since the start of the proceedings in September 2013. Ibrahim’s family said they were “devastated” by this delay.
In this context, Maya Foa, director of the death penalty team at Reprieve rights organization said:
“For the last three years, the Egyptian authorities have made a mockery of justice by dragging out this mass trial. Ibrahim and hundreds of other alleged protesters have been detained at length, horribly mistreated, and threatened with execution.
“Today’s delay – and the suggestion that this Kafkaesque ordeal will start again months from now – is utterly unacceptable. Enough is enough – the Irish government must take urgent steps to secure Ibrahim’s release, and his return to his family in Ireland.”
With today’s delay the trial has been in front of courts for more than three years. The military forces have arrested Ibrahim (17 years) and his co-defendants in August 2013.
Ibrahim -from Dublin- was on holiday in Cairo when he was arrested during the breakup of protests. Ibrahim is being illegally tried as an adult and he is expected to have a death sentence.
Since the military coup in 2013, the Egyptian authorities have launched massive crackdown on human rights. Many journalists, activists and political opposition were arrested.
According to Reprieve human rights organization, “Several hundreds of alleged protestors have been sentenced to death in the mass trials, which fall short of international fair trial standards.”
“The proceedings have been condemned by countries closely allied to Egypt, such as the US and the UK, as well as the EU and the UN,” said Reprieve.
Moreover, Egypt’s prisons have witnessed various human rights violations. In a recent letter from Ibrahim to the human rights organization Reprieve – which is assisting Ibrahim – wrote, “There are many ways I have been mistreated”, describing regular abuse that included “beatings, solitary confinement, being beaten with the back of an AK47, guns pointed at my chest.”
He added that the prison authorities often ,“torture another prisoner and they make me watch”, and that he has been put in solitary confinement as punishment for complaining about his mistreatment.
Reprieve stated that the postponement of Ibrahim’s trial will cause further concerns for Ibrahim’s welfare and safety over the next few months in detention.