Ibrahim Halawa freed from jail in Egypt

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Ibrahim Halawa freed from jail in Egypt


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Ibrahim Halawa spent more than four years in jail before he was acquitted last month

Ibrahim Halawa, an Irishman who has spent more than four years in prison in Egypt, has been freed.

Mr Halawa, who is from Dublin, was arrested during a siege at the Al-Fath mosque in Cairo in 2013.

He was accused along with 500 others, including three of his three sisters, of inciting violence, riot and sabotage.

He was acquitted of all charges more than a month ago, but his release was delayed.

That delay prompted a former Irish justice minister to call for Egypt’s ambassador to Ireland to be expelled.

Campaigners posted a Facebook message on Thursday to say Mr Halawa, 21, had been freed.

They said: “We will now begin to make arrangements to bring him home where he belongs in Ireland.”

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Declan Walsh/The New York Times/Redux/eyevine

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An emotional Ibrahim Halawa celebrated his acquittal on 18 September 2017

Irish broadcaster RTÉ reported that the Halawa family had confirmed his release.

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney welcomed the release, and tweeted: “Delighted 2 confirm Ibrahim Halawa has been released, being supported by family + Embassy. Some formalities still required before flying home”.

Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan, who attended the Irishman’s trial, tweeted: “Great news coming out of Cairo.”

She claimed he had been subject to four years of “illegal imprisonment” and said the focus now “is on getting him home”.

Mr Halawa was 17 when he was detained by Egyptian security forces during a siege at the Cairo’s Al-Fath mosque on 17 August 2013.

Three of his older sisters were also arrested and imprisoned, but they were allowed to return home to Ireland within three months.

Mr Halawa protested against his detention with a series of hunger strikes, and at one stage his family said he became so weak he was using a wheelchair.

The Halawas were acquitted of all charges against them on 18 September.





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