This website is an archive of the work of Marietje Schaake in the European Parliament between 2009 and 2019. Marietje can be reached at

Plenary speech on Ibrahim Halawa potentially facing the death penalty in Egypt

On December 17, Marietje Schaake spoke in the plenary about Ibrahim Halawa potentially facing the death penalty in Egypt. Marietje Schaake, on behalf of the ALDE Group Mr President, in Egypt human rights, the rule of law, the right to a fair trial and fundamental freedoms are trampled on, and el‑Sisi’s oppressive regime has too many victims. Egyptians seeking freedom and democracy say that the repression is now worse than it was under President Mubarak. The EU should not turn a blind eye, because cooperation without addressing human rights gives a false sense of stability and will prove unsustainable. Do I believe that the Muslim Brotherhood seeks to advance justice, freedom, democracy and pluralism? No. I worry about the dogma and sectarianism of Islamist politics. Yet those Muslim Brotherhood supporters who demonstrated in 2013, as Ibrahim Halawa did, are innocent until proven guilty – or at least they should be. His human rights must be respected. A mass trial cannot be a fair trial. On Sunday last, as one of the 420 co-defendants was not present, the trial was postponed. The circumstances in Egyptian prisons are notorious. Given the fact that Mr Halawa is Irish and was 17 when he was arrested, we call for his release by presidential decree under Egyptian Law 140.