Further fears for Halawa in Cairo

by Gazette Reporter
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MORE than 100 people demonstrated outside the Department of Foreign Affairs last weekend calling for the immediate release of 19-year-old Dubliner Ibrahim Halawa from a Cairo jail.

Halawa, son of the Imam of Clonskeagh mosque, was in court the next day along with 490 other defendants charged en masse with murder and destruction of property. The trial was adjourned yet again by a three-judge panel and resumes on April 26.
Back in Dublin, his sisters Somaia, Fatima and Omaima, held a press conference before the demonstration which was supported by TDs Richard Boyd Barrett (PBP), Ruth Coppinger (AAA), Paul Murphy (AAA) and MEP Lynn Boylan (SF).
Deputy Boyd Barrett told The Gazette: “The situation is really terrible and most recent indications are that Ibrahim is being tortured, and his family is extremely fearful that the sentence passed against him will be death.”
He accused the Government of a weak response, saying: “We need a robust and public demand by the Taoiseach condemning the trumped-up charges against this Irish citizen.”
Somaia said her mother visited Ibrahim recently, and he said he was being tortured and held with criminals sentenced to death.
She said: “It was very hard for my mum and she broke down, asking the prison officials: ‘What have you done to my son?’ She was asked to leave, and only saw him for five minutes.”
She says the experience has left her brother doubting if he can ever live normally if he is released. She and her sisters have asked to meet the Taoiseach.
A spokesperson for the Taoiseach said: “The Taoiseach is fully aware of the case of Ibrahim Halawa. He has asked Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan and the Irish Embassy in Cairo to continue to use their best efforts in this case.”

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