The lawyer for Irishman Ibrahim Halawa, who was found innocent in Egypt four years after his arrest in Cairo, has paid tribute to Lurgan-based group ‘The Hooded Men’ who supported his campaign.
Darragh Mackin paid tribute to the Hooded Men and their team for their support and commitment to Ibrahim (21) and his family.
Mr Mackin said “On behalf of the family I wish to thank Jim McIlmurray and the Hooded Men for their support. It was very comforting to the family at a time when nobody was supporting Ibrahim’s case.”
Mr Halawa, from Dublin, was arrested during a siege at the Al-Fath mosque in Cairo in 2013.
He was accused along with 500 others, including his three sisters, of inciting violence, riot and sabotage.
Mr Halawa’s three sisters were released after about three months and were allowed to return home to Dublin, but he remained in jail.
However he was acquitted of all charges this week.
Mr Mackin said: “Throughout that time Ibrahim Halawa and his family have tirelessly fought for his freedom – and this verdict is a true testament to their hard work and dedication.”
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said the Government will facilitate Ibrahim’s return at the earliest opportunity.
Halawa suffered “horrific human rights abuses and inhuman prison conditions” while in detention in Egypt, his legal team also stated.
Ibrahim’s international legal team expressed great relief at the news and continues to stand in solidarity with Ibrahim and his family,” a statement from the firm read.
During his time in detention in various prison facilities in Egypt, Ibrahim witnessed and was subjected to horrific human rights abuses and inhuman prison conditions, including violent physical abuse, overcrowding, and humiliation and appalling lack of sanitation”.
Mr Mackin of KRW Law said: “This marks the end to what has been a turbulent four years. Ibrahim and his family have been vindicated by today’s verdict.
“We now look forward to seeing Ibrahim return home to his family in the coming days, and will be actively engaging with the Irish and Egyptian Government to ensure that happens without any further delay.”
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: “I have just received news from our Embassy in Cairo that the Egyptian courts have delivered an acquittal in the case of Irish citizen Ibrahim Halawa, and that Ibrahim’s sisters Somaia, Fatima and Omaima have similarly been acquitted”.
“Now that Ibrahim has been cleared of all charges, I expect he will be released as soon as possible and can return home to his family. The Government will facilitate his return home at the earliest opportunity.”