Updated: 12/01/17 : 06:26:21
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Ibrahim Halawa 'will be freed once trial is over' - Egyptian President

Amnesty International last night welcomed reports that Egyptian President el-Sisi said that Ibrahim Halawa will be released and returned to Ireland upon completion of his trial.

Reports suggest that President Sisi confirmed this news to a cross party Oireactas delegation visiting Ibrahim in prison in Cairo.

Amnesty International has declared Ibrahim a Prisoner of Conscience.

Based on a thorough review of his case, the organisation has determined that he could not have committed the serious crimes which he was accused of.

He has been imprisoned solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly.

“Ibrahim has spent almost three and a half years in prison in clear violation of his human rights, and in breach of international and Egyptian law. He should be immediately and unconditionally released. `

"Though this news is welcome, it is dependent on the completion of his mass trial which does not meet fair trial standards required under international law. Though this report might appear encouraging, Ibrahim’s return to Ireland is dependent upon the completion of an unfair judicial process which shows no sign of coming to a conclusion.

"Since his arrest in August 2013, Amnesty International have been calling for Ibrahim’s release.

"It is long past time that the Egyptian authorities respect international human rights law and allow this young Irish citizen to return home,” said Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland."

The next scheduled hearing in the case is next Tuesday, 17 January 2017.