Europe

Ibrahim Halawa: Irish foreign minister supports deportation plans

Charlie Flanagan
Image caption Charlie Flanagan said the government's focus was on supporting an application for Mr Halawa to be deported back to Ireland

The Irish foreign minister has said the government will apply maximum pressure on the Egyptian authorities to secure the return of a prisoner to Ireland.

Ibrahim Halawa has been detained in an Egyptian prison for more than three years.

His trial was adjourned for a 17th time on Tuesday.

Charlie Flanagan said the government's focus was on supporting an application for Mr Halawa to be deported.

The Irish government has also requested that he be considered for release under a new Egyptian government amnesty scheme for young prisoners.

Mr Halawa, who turned 21 on Tuesday, is the son of Ireland's most senior Muslim cleric and was arrested during anti-government protests in Cairo in August 2013.

Image caption Ibrahim Halawa has been in prison since 2013 and celebrated his 21st birthday on Tuesday

He has been charged along with 463 others with inciting violence, rioting and sabotage relating to the protests in Cairo.

Mr Halawa appeared in court on Tuesday and told judges that he was innocent and asked to be allowed to return home.

His family has denied claims that Mr Halawa is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's oldest and largest Islamist organisation.

The Egyptian government has declared it a terrorist group, a claim the organisation rejects.

More than 1,000 people have been killed and 40,000 are believed to have been jailed since President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi led the military's overthrow of Mohammed Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected head of state, in 2013.

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