By Maya Foa, Director of Reprieve
We’ve just received news from Egypt that Ibrahim Halawa has been acquitted at a mass trial, four years after he was arrested at a protest. I wanted to share the incredible news as I know that so many people out there have campaigned for his release and sent messages of support to help him get through this ordeal.
But today’s verdict is long overdue. We must remember that this Dublin teenager was arrested for the ‘crime’ of attending a protest. He was tortured, tried alongside adults in a shockingly unfair trial of nearly 500 people, and faced the death penalty if convicted.
For years, these court proceedings – which were designed to punish political dissent – made a mockery of justice. And since President Sisi took power in 2014, we’ve been tracking the dramatic rise in death sentences. Thousands – including journalists, activists, and juveniles like Ibrahim Halawa – have been locked up for attending pro-democracy protests and face the death penalty.
We still have work to do – including making sure Ibrahim gets home to his family in Ireland – and there will be more to come as events unfold.
But in nearly four years of fighting to secure Ibrahim’s release, we’ve never stopped and never given up – and many of you have been with us the whole way.
Thank you so much,
Director of Reprieve