Ibrahim Halawa’s family are celebrating today after his release from prison, over one month since he was acquitted of all charges in an Egyptian court.
Ibrahim was arrested in Cairo in 2013 when he was just 17 years old, following protests against a military coup which had happened earlier that year. His three sisters were also arrested but later released on bail. All four were acquitted last month.
Ibrahim’s sister Fatima spoke of the surprise and excitement when they found out her brother was released saying that they “didn’t expect him to be released today at all”.
Ibrahim Halawa's sister Fatima has been describing the moment the family learnt he was finally out of jail #halawa pic.twitter.com/5I8GaLqlgP
— Stephanie Grogan (@StephGrogan3) October 20, 2017
Ibrahim had been held in an Egyptian prison for 4 years and his trial had been postponed more than 30 times. He was tried as part of a mass trial with 493 other defendants.
The Minster for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveny, has said that they hope Ibrahim can return to Ireland by Sunday or Monday, and the Taoiseach has confirmed that the family are receiving consular assistance on the ground to help get Ibrahim back home.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and President Michael D. Higgins are among those to welcome Ibrahim's release.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar welcomed news of Ibrahim Halawa's release from prison in Egypt pic.twitter.com/tgY9u3xZD4
— RTÉ News (@rtenews) October 20, 2017
Free at last!
After four terrible years behind bars, Ibrahim Halawa is a free man.
Thanks to everyone who campaigned for his freedom. pic.twitter.com/cZYqfIod1T
— Amnesty Int'l NI (@AmnestyNI) October 20, 2017