By Matthew Leidecker, Head of Campaigns
Cautious cause for celebration in the Reprieve office this week as the news of Ibrahim Halawa’s acquittal came in from Egypt – a country in which we’ve been tracking a dramatic rise in death sentences for journalists, pro-democracy activists and juveniles like Ibrahim.
Also of concern is Egypt’s use of mass trials. Ibrahim was tried as an adult alongside 493 other people in one of several recent mass trials. For years, these court proceedings – designed to punish political dissent – made a mockery of justice and have been widely criticised as falling far below basic standards.
But Ibrahim has now finally been acquitted in court – though he’s not home yet. There’s still much work to be done to ensure that he is returned home to Ireland as soon as possible. There will be more to come shortly…
Thousands of people around the world have been part of our efforts to free Ibrahim over the last four years. Many also sent messages of support, which were a huge boost to him and his family during some very difficult times.
It’s a lesson in never giving up – and always being there to defend those who need us.
Andy Tsege has been on death row in Ethiopia for a similar length of time – 1,185 days, 15 hours, 57 minutes as I’m writing this.
Read – Screams can be heard in the background – 7 scandalous facts about a kidnapped Brit on Ethiopia’s death row
Also at the time of writing, 59,808 people have called on the British government to bring Andy home to his family in London. For anyone who hasn’t joined – please help us get over the 60k mark.
The more people we have, the stronger our call will be.
It’s time for the UK Government to take meaningful action to bring Andy home.
Andy’s partner Yemi has written about hope – about how Andy was full of hope that he would one day see democracy flourish in Ethiopia. How Andy was passionate about democracy and justice even though he faced an oppressive regime.
It’s another lesson in never giving up.
At Reprieve we’re full of hope that before long Andy will be back on UK shores. If you share our hope:
Take action – join nearly 60,000 others
Andy is a British father of three, kidnapped from an international airport and illegally held on Ethiopia’s death row. The UK government has the power to negotiate Andy’s return home, but has so far failed to do so. Act with us now to help bring Andy home.