Do more to free Halawa - In jail in Egypt

Irishman Ibrahim Halawa, from Tallaght, Co Dublin, yesterday spent his 20th birthday in prison in Cairo.

Do more to free Halawa - In jail in Egypt

He has been there for two and a half years, during which time he has been forced to drink water from a toilet, endure torture, violence, and threats of violence from prison guards, and spend 23 hours daily in a cell with 64 other prisoners.

It is hard to imagine any Irish citizen suffering such degradation without the Irish Government using all and every means to secure his release or, at least, ensure he is treated fairly and humanely.

Ibrahim, the son of Sheikh Hussein Halawa, the imam of Ireland’s largest mosque, was arrested while on holiday in Cairo in August, 2013, along with his three sisters.

When they got caught up in anti-government protests all four were arrested but, while his sisters were released and returned to Ireland, Ibrahim remains in prison.

He could even face the death penalty when a mass trial of 494 alleged dissenters resumes on Tuesday in Cairo.

Peter Greste, an Australian journalist also jailed in Egypt in the wake of the protests, was released last January after Australia’s foreign minister became personally involved in his case and made frequent — and vocal — representations on his behalf.

The least that Ibrahim, as an Irish citizen, should be able to expect is that his foreign minister would do the same.

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