Wednesday 24 January 2018

Family's fears as Dublin teen Ibrahim may move to a new jail in Egypt

ibrahim halawa
ibrahim halawa

FRESH concerns have been raised about the fate of Dublin teenager Ibrahim Halawa as campaigners fear he could now be facing execution.

The 19-year-old was arrested in August 2013 during the Al Fateh Mosque siege in Cairo.

Though just a juvenile when he was arrested, he has spent his detention until now in the notorious Torah prison in the capital.

Now, a leading charity group has warned that the 494 defendants held along with Ibrahim have begun to be moved to a purpose-built prison complex at Wadi el Natrun, more than 100km from Cairo.

The prison appears to serve as both a makeshift courthouse and an execution site, according to the group.

“Mass trials and sweeping death sentences for prisoners arrested at peaceful protests – including juveniles, like Ibrahim Halawa – make a mockery of justice,” Maya Foya, head of Reprieve’s death penalty teams said.

Halawa is facing his fifth trial date since his arrest, scheduled for March 29. Four trials have collapsed due to courtroom over-crowding.

His sister Somaia told the Herald last night that the family are very concerned at the prospect of the teenager being moved to Wadi el Natrun.

“We don’t want him to be moved, it’s a very dangerous prison with a terrible reputation in Egypt,” she said.

“He is worried that they can come and move him at any minute. It is known as the torture prison and treatment there is very, very bad,” she said.

Ms Halawa said that not much has progressed with her younger brother’s case since his trial date was pushed back for a fourth time in February.

“We are now depending on the trial even though we know that the trials are not something that can be depended on,” she said.

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