• 20:01
  • Friday ,23 May 2014

Irish teen jailed in Egypt ‘beaten and tortured’

By Herald I.E.

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Friday ,23 May 2014

Irish teen jailed in Egypt ‘beaten and tortured’
A DUBLIN Leaving Cert student imprisoned in Egypt is running out of time to get out safely, his family fear. Ibrahim Halawa (18) is being held in an adult jail where he has been beaten and tortured, they said. With more than 1,000 inmates already sentenced to death, the Halawas believe Ibrahim is at risk of the same fate. They have appealed to Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore to increase pressure on the Egyptian authorities to have him released. TORTURE “He is currently experiencing horrific mental and physical torture within the prison and is denied medical help,” his sister Somaia said. Ibrahim, the son of the Imam of the Islamic Cultural Centre in Clonskeagh, Sheikh Hussein Halawa, was arrested last August along with his three older sisters, Omaima, Fatima and Somaia, following a day of protests in Cairo. They had travelled to the city from their home in Ballycullen, Co Dublin, for a holiday. Ibrahim’s sisters were released in November but he remains in “deplorable conditions” in the Al-Marg jail. Somaia added: “Ibrahim is in jail so every day you don’t know what is happening. “He was punished and put in a cell by himself.” Prisoners in solitary confinement “have to take off their clothes, there is no light, they are cold, there is no toilet”, she told In a statement, the family urged Tanaiste and foreign affairs minister to take “urgent action to ask the Egyptian authorities for Ibrahim’s immediate and unconditional release”. They added: “His family and friends are very concerned about his condition and well being. “They are further concerned about the absence of due legal process in Egypt that showed its ugly face last month. “In two mass trials, 1,212 men were sentenced to death by Egyptian judges in the absence of international litigation standards. “With a hearing soon to be scheduled within a few weeks, Ibrahim’s family believes their youngest son is running out of time.