As those who follow our updates on The Flame and on social media will be aware, Unite Youth Dublin have thrown themselves into campaigning for the release for Ibrahim Halawa. Our reasons for this have been clearly outlined here and we will be using whatever means available to us to rally support for his release within the trade-union movement and across Dublin. #FreeIbrahim
Today, the 17th of August, marks Ibrahim Halawa’s second year in prison. Two years of a minor’s life have been taken from him for simply expressing his right to protest. During this time, he has spent every day living with the threat of a possible death penalty for an accused crime that is yet to go to trial. In the face of this impossible situation, Ibrahim and his family have shown incredible strength and resilience. Quite rightly, they have not settled for the quiet inaction of the Department of Foreign Affairs and have consistently demanded decisive intervention from the highest levels of government to bring him home.
The fact that this is yet to happen is a testament to Irish society literally washing its hands of one of our own. Why hasn’t the leafy Egyptian embassy been under a state of almost permanent siege for the past two years from protesters? Why haven’t union members been refusing to handle Egyptian goods? Why hasn’t Enda Kenny been hounded at every public event with cries of ‘Free Ibrahim’? The answer lies not with the Halawa’s attempts to mobilise a mass campaign, indeed we salute their efforts in this regard; but rather reflects the disinterest of a society which remains unmoved by the plight of a young Dubliner who doesn’t carry a generic Irish surname.
The latest issue of The Phoenix covers this issue and highlights the suspicious failure of Amnesty Ireland to take a pro-active and effective stance in defence of Ibrahim. For months, a petition for his release lingered on their website under-promoted and ignored; with the responses numbering only in their hundreds. This telling lack of support has been made even more glaring now that it appears that the petition no longer appears under issues in Ireland. When we’re talking about Ibrahim Halawa, make no mistake that we are talking about a legitimate prisoner of conscience born in Ireland and incarcerated abroad. How is this not Amnesty’s primary campaign right now? Yet again, Ibrahim has been left to stare at the walls of his Egyptian jail while being betrayed by a thousand silences back home.
Help make a difference today and take one or all of the actions listed on the Free Ibrahim Halawa website. The campaign is asking, in particular, for people to contact their local T.D, to ask about Ibrahim and to help put pressure on this government to secure his release. Spread the word of Ibrahim’s two years incarceration today to all those who may have not heard of him and help bring him home.
Solidarity with Ibrahim. Bring him home.