herald

Sunday 4 December 2016

Ibrahim has lost 30kg on semi-hunger strike, claims sister

Dubliner Ibrahim Halawa has been awaiting trial in Egypt since
August 2013
Dubliner Ibrahim Halawa has been awaiting trial in Egypt since August 2013

Ibrahim Halawa, the Dublin student imprisoned in Egypt, has lost nearly five stone in weight since beginning a semi-hunger strike last year, according to his sister.

He is also suffering from severe back pain and chest problems, but his family claim that he has received no medical treatment since being arrested two-and-a-half years ago.

Ibrahim's sister, Somaia, said he had lost 30kg (4st 10lbs) since beginning a phased hunger strike 150 days ago.

"He's been living on fruit and water," said Somaia, adding that Ibrahim (20) sees his mother through the bars of the prison when she visits each week.

She also claimed that prison authorities took Mr ­Halawa's belongings when he refused to sign a ­document stating he had been treated well in prison.

"They are mentally torturing him," she said.

"When he looks at himself in the mirror and his parents look at him, they are being mentally tortured."

Detail

Ms Halawa also called on the next Irish government to "look at Ibrahim's case in more detail" and "support it more than the current Government have".

Mr Halawa, from Tallaght, was arrested at a Muslim Brotherhood demonstration in Cairo in August 2013.

He was later charged along with 493 others, and has yet to face trial.

His 13th trial date is set for March 6, but his family say they believe it will be postponed again.

Campaigners plan to mark Ibrahim's 150 days of hunger strike with a silent protest outside the Egyptian Embassy in Dublin on Thursday at 5pm.

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