Speaking in Brussels following a meeting with the Halawa family and activists on the campaign to free Ibrahim, Ms Anderson said,
“My party colleague Lynn Boylan has been to the fore on this campaign, both in Europe and in Ireland, and I thank her for organising this delegation and facilitating this meeting today.
“This case has gone on for far too long and as an Irish citizen, Ibrahim needs all of his elected representatives to come together and act on his behalf.
“Unfortunately, Ibrahim is one of around 42,000 political prisoners currently incarcerated by the Egyptian regime. Today we heard from Amnesty International who told us his case is alarmingly commonplace in Egypt. All individuals incarcerated need a voice and the European institutions should be acting to uphold the highest standards of human rights provision, anywhere in the world.
“We heard at length about alarming violations of fundamental rights by the current Egyptian regime. The testimony of some former prisoners was astonishing. We can only imagine the horrors facing Ibrahim on a daily basis as he languishes in his prison cell.
“The farcical nature of his detention is typified by the fact that Ibrahim is yet to stand trial, his trial date being postponed again and again. This means Ibrahim has now been detained for well over two years, breaching existing Egyptian law which should prevent people being detained for more than two years.
“Ireland needs to act, and needs to act now. We have a very slight window of opportunity to achieve the necessary outcome of bringing Ibrahim home to his family and friends in Ireland. We need to learn from those we heard from today, particularly Mohamed Soltan, who was released after concentrated government intervention, diplomatic pressure and political unity.
“All Irish MEPs who met with the Halawa delegation today listened to the harrowing stories of Peter Greste, Mohamed Soltan and Somaia Halawa. Therefore, there is no reason why we should not all unite in this case to ensure the safe release and return of Ibrahim.” ENDS