herald

Monday 11 December 2017

Death row fears as teenager faces trial

In jail cell: Teenager Ibrahim Halawa
In jail cell: Teenager Ibrahim Halawa

DUBLIN teenager Ibrahim Halawa, who has been imprisoned in Cairo for 16 months, is expected to finally appear in court on Monday.

Hundreds of his fellow protesters have been sentenced to death in similar mass trials in Egypt, which have been roundly condemned by human rights organisations.

Now the Halawa family has vowed to step up its campaign for his release if his trial collapses once again.

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"We are just waiting, we haven't heard anything at all. We could end up in the same place again," his sister Somaia told the Herald.

"Even his lawyer can't tell us anything," she said. "People are saying it will go ahead but more than likely it will be postponed."

The 18-year-old is looking forward to the journey from the prison to the courthouse just to enjoy the outside world, his sister said.

His mother, who has been in Egypt since her son's arrest, will go to court on the day.

Ibrahim has been in custody since the Al Fateh Mosque siege in the Egyptian capital in August 2013.

He was arrested alongside three of his sisters who were released last November.

The family has insisted they were taking part in a peaceful protest against the country's military regime.

The teen was placed in the notorious Torah jail, nicknamed 'Scorpion Prison', though he was a minor at the time of his arrest.

In August, the teenager said in a letter that he had been beaten badly by prison guards.

Ibrahim's family has expressed fears that he will spend his 19th birthday in the prison next month.

hnews@herald.ie

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