Ibrahim Halawa, an Irish-Egyptian who was imprisoned in Egypt for four years, has been released after a court acquitted him of all charges last month, the Irish Times reported today.
A message on the “Free Ibrahim Halawa” Facebook page last night confirmed the news and welcomed his release.
“Fantastic news, Ibrahim has finally been released from prison. We will now begin to make arrangements to bring him home where he belongs in Ireland.”
“We can’t thank enough all those who worked so hard for Ibrahim’s release, we owe you all so much.”
Halawa, from Firhouse in South Dublin, was arrested in August 2013 along with hundreds of others in Cairo during a mass demonstration against the military ousting of Egypt’s first democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi.
Despite being only 17 years old at the time, he was detained for four years pending his trial, which had been adjourned over 30 times. He also faced torture whilst being moved to several prisons since his detention.
Halawa’s father, Hussein, is the imam of the largest mosque in Ireland. His sisters, who were arrested alongside him, were released three months after their imprisonment and have been campaigning for his freedom since their return to Ireland.
Irish President Michael D Higgins called for an “urgent resolution” to Halawa’s trial in May, after which Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi promised to return him to Ireland as soon as the court case concludes.
Egypt has witnessed a severe crackdown on freedom of speech and political activism since the military coup. Thousands of citizens have been arrested and imprisoned; some 917 Egyptians have been sentenced to death since 2013.