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Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Halawa acquitted of all charges, to be released “within days”

Let’s hope this is laid to rest for good: Leading the conversation on Egypt in the foreign press this morning is Irish citizen Ibrahim Halawa’s acquittal. He and his three sisters were cleared of all charges yesterday, Reuters reports. Halawa, who spent four years in jail pending a verdict, is expected to be released within days, The Irish Times notes. He was being tried alongside some 500 others, most of whom received sentences, including 43 who got life terms. Amnesty International issued a statement lauding Halawa’s release, but criticizing the conviction of the 442 other defendants. The Financial Time reports is among the many international media outlets to have picked up the story.

Among the other defendants who were not as lucky as Halawa was 27-year-old Egyptian-American citizen Ahmed Etiwy, who was handed down a five-year sentence, and whose case became known after Aya Hijazi’s release earlier this year, the New York Times’ Declan Walsh writes.

The detention of others, including activists, is also getting widespread coverage. 24-year-old Egyptian human rights lawyer Tarek Hussein says he was recently held unlawfully by security forces for five weeks, The Guardian reports. This jailing of “the children of the Arab Spring” and any other human rights issues in Egypt is unlikely to be resolved by the United States, Scott Long writes for The Nation.

Also in the headlines this morning: Students nationwide are taking to social media to mock a government decision to have students salute the flag at the beginning of every academic year, writes the BBC.

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