herald

Friday 27 April 2018

Sisters held in Egypt to be freed

From left, sisters Fatima, Omaima and Somaia Halawa. Photo: PA
From left, sisters Fatima, Omaima and Somaia Halawa. Photo: PA

THREE Dublin sisters detained in Egypt without charge for almost three months are due to be released.

Sisters Somaia, Fatima and Omaima Halawa were taken into custody in August following a protest in Cairo.

However, it is not clear at this point if their brother Ibrahim – who is also being detained – will be set free.

Ibrahim is due to attend another court hearing tomorrow when his fate will be decided.

The four family members, all from Firhouse in south Dublin, had been detained without charge for three months.

Sisters Omaima (20), Fatima (22) and Somaia (27) and their brother Ibrahim (17) were jailed on August 17.

The siblings, whose father Sheikh Hussein Halawa is the imam of Ireland's largest mosque, had travelled to Egypt in the summer for a holiday.

Khadija Halawa said she hopes her sisters will be freed in the coming days.

In a statement, Tanaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore said he welcomed the release.

"I telephoned Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy on Monday last to express my concern that the Halawa siblings had been kept in prison for almost three months without being charged with an offence," Mr Gilmore said.

clairemurphy@herald.ie

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