After over four years, Ibrahim Halawa will finally be coming home to Dublin as he’s been released from custody in Egypt.
The 21-year-old was one of 450 people arrested at a mosque in the capital city of Cairo in August 2013 amid protests after then-president Mohammed Morsi was ousted.
His three sisters, Somaia, Fatima and Omaima, were also arrested but were released on bail and tried in absentia, reports RTÉ.
After a drawn-out mass trial, the Halawas were finally acquitted of all charges of inciting violence, riot and sabotage last month.
In a post on its Facebook page, the Free Ibrahim Halawa campaign group confirmed that the Firhouse native was freed last night.
“Fantastic news, Ibrahim has finally been released from prison.
“We will now begin to make arrangements to bring him home where he belongs in Ireland.
“We can’t thank enough all those who worked so hard for Ibrahim’s release, we owe you all so much.”
Ibrahim’s release was welcomed by President Michael D. Higgins in a statement.
“The release of Ibrahim Halawa will come as a great relief to his family.
“It will be welcomed by all those who were concerned for him in his long ordeal of imprisonment. I wish Ibrahim Halawa well on his journey home.”
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has also reacted to the news.
Delighted 2 confirm Ibrahim Halawa has been released, being supported by family+Embassy. Some formalities still required before flying home
— Simon Coveney (@simoncoveney) October 19, 2017
Ibrahim’s imprisonment drew much criticism, directed not only at the Egyptian state but also at the Irish government for its perceived inaction on behalf of the Dubliner, who is an Irish citizen.
He himself protested the imprisonment by going on hunger strike and was at times confined to a wheelchair, according to his sisters, as he was so weak.
Ibrahim’s father, Hussein Halawa, is the imam of Clonskeagh’s Islamic Cultural Centre of Ireland.