Trial of Irish man jailed in Egypt set to start on Monday

The trial of Irish teenager Ibrahim Halawa, of Egyptian descent, will take place on Monday in a court at Tora Prison, the Irish Times reported.
Halawa, a student at the Institute of Education in Dublin, according to the newspaper, has been held for 461 days awaiting his trial. Along with his three sisters, they were forced to take refuge at Cairo’s Fateh mosque, after violent clashes between supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsy and the security forces that took place in August 2013, when they were arrested.
Halawa's detention was extended mutiple times without charges until he was eventually charged with murder, attempted murder and participating in an illegal protest. He was rounded up along with another 493 protesters during the incident.
Irish Ambassador Isolde Moylan will attend the proceedings, the newspaper added saying that Moylan and her staff were earlier present at previous court sessions and that she visited Halawa several times in prison.
The newspaper indicated fresh optimism about fate of Halawa for two reasons including retrial ordered by court on New Year’s Eve of three Al Jazeera journalists who were earlier accused of promoting a terrorist organization through their reporting, in addition to the presidential decree issued last November ordering transfer of foreigners in Egyptian prisons to their home countries for trial or imprisonment.
The Irish Times reported that during his imprisonment, Halawa has been subject to abuse and torture. When he arrived at his hearing in August 2013, Halawa said he was beaten, dragged and spat on when he refused to leave unless he saw the judge. The hearing was abandoned and Halawa was not even allowed to see his lawyer, he told the Irish Times.

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