Ibrahim Halawa - finally free to come home to Ireland

SEVERAL local politicians have echoed the Halawa family’s delight at the news on Monday that Ibrahim was found innocent of all charges against him, and can now return home after years in an Egyptian prison.

The long hoped for verdict means that Ibrahim is expected to return home within the next few days.

His sisters, who had tirelessly campaigned for his release, have said they are “so delighted”, adding: “It’s been a long four years and we can’t believe that this has happened.”

Ibrahim, the son of the imam of Clonskeagh mosque, had been in prison since August, 2013, when the then teenager was arrested at the Al Fateh Grand Mosque in Cairo during protests against the ousting of the democratically-elected then president, Mohamed Morsi.

Despite the verdict being repeatedly delayed, Monday finally saw the 21-year-old acquitted.

His sisters, Somaia, Fatima and Omaima – who had also been in Cairo – were also acquitted of their charges.

Deputy Catherine Martin (GP) expressed her relief and delight that Ibrahim was finally free to come home.

Speaking to The Gazette, she said: “This has been a long campaign – by Ibrahim’s family and all his supporters and friends. Ibrahim and his family have been through a horrific ordeal.”

Cllr Lettie McCarthy (Lab) said: “Hearing Ibrahim Halawa was acquitted was the most wonderful news. It is heartbreaking to think of what this young boy must have endured, and I don’t think any of us can begin to imagine what he and his family went through this last few years.”

Cllr Deirdre Donnelly (Ind) said: “I am delighted with this news for Ibrahim and his family, who have campaigned so hard for his release since 2013.

“He was a minor when he was detained in Cairo and the last few years have been a nightmare for all concerned. I would to congratulate his sisters, who campaigned tirelessly.”

Minister for Transport Shane Ross said: “I am delighted for Ibrahim, his family and all those who have supported him through this long and painful process.

“After four years, Ibrahim – and his sisters Somaia, Fatima and Omaima – have been acquitted and their struggle against an often incom-prehensible legal system has finally come to a close.”

Deputy Colm Brophy (FG) said: “Numerous adjournments to Ibrahim’s case have caused great anguish and pain for his family.

“The verdict is proof that Ibrahim and his sisters never committed any wrongdoing or broke any laws in Egypt in 2013.

“Their innocence has been confirmed.”