Ibrahim Halawa may be released from an Egyptian prison on humanitarian grounds.
His trial was put back for a 21st time this afternoon, meaning he has been locked up for almost four years after being arrested at a protest while on holiday in Cairo.
Human rights group, politicians and the Ibrahim's family all admit they're growing increasingly concerned for his welfare - and a doctor has asked for him to be released for medical tests.
Fiona Crowley from Amnesty International Ireland said It is beyond farcical that Ibrahim Halawa has now endured 21 delays in his trial, spending 1,327 days imprisoned in Egypt."
Amnesty researchers on the ground at the time of his arrest say Ibrahim was sheltering in a mosque and could not have committed the violent crimes he has been charged with.
"His ongoing detention represents an inexcusable violation of both international and Egyptian law,” Fiona argued in a statement released after the latest postponement in court.
The case has been put back until April 26th, when it is due to get underway for a 22nd time.
The Foreign Affairs Minister says Ibrahim Halawa may be released from an Egyptian prison on humanitarian grounds.
Yesterday the Taoiseach revealed he'd written to the Egyptian President requesting the release of the 21-year-old following a medical examination by an Irish doctor.
Charlie Flanagan this afternoon told the Dáil that a formal request for Ibrahim's release was also made in court today and that "the Judge undertook to examine this matter. I'd very much like to welcome this development".
Read The Foreign Affairs Minister's statement in full following today's hearing
“I welcome the progress made today in the case. My officials were in court today, as they have been on every occasion that Ibrahim Halawa’s case before the court and I received an update from Egypt after the case was adjourned. 11 witnesses testified before the court today and over 30 witnesses have appeared to date. Following a frustrating and unacceptably long delay, there is now a clear sense that a trial is underway. This is important due to the commitment by President El Sisi to assist when the case concludes.
“Furthermore, today Ibrahim Halawa’s lawyers requested his release on medical ground and the Judge undertook to consider that application. Last week the Government took the unprecedented step of deploying a doctor to Egypt to meet with Ibrahim Halawa. He recommended that Ibrahim Halawa be released to facilitate further specialist medical assessments. Following that report, the Taoiseach again wrote to President El Sisi, again appealing for Ibrahim Halawa’s release, stressing the Irish Government’s humanitarian and medical concerns.
“I met today with Ireland’s Ambassador to Egypt, Damien Cole, and had a detailed discussion on the case. Ambassador Cole has made an unprecedented number of consular visits to Ibrahim Halawa and he and his officials play an essential role in monitoring Ibrahim’s welfare and in reporting and following up on any concerns to the Egyptian authorities.
“The Government will continue with its efforts to have Ibrahim Halawa returned to Ireland on humanitarian grounds without delay. In the meantime, my officials in Cairo and in Dublin will continue to provide all possible consular assistance.”