Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Irish prisoner of conscience on Hunger Strike in the Egyptian Prisons and silence from Ireland

A year has passed on Ibrahim Halawa (18) ,an Irish teenager  was arrested with his sisters Somaia (28),
 Fatima (23) and Omaima (21) during the clashes between supporters of Morsi and security forces on 16 August,2013 .
Ibrahim and his three sisters were among those arrested after taking refuge in Al Fath  mosque. He was shot in his hand when the security forces stormed the building, but was not given access to medical care for his injury, and the only treatment he received was from a cellmate who happened to be a doctor. He was held in detention with adults contrary to Egypt’s Child Law which provides that children must be held in juvenile detention centres and be separated from adults.
The three sisters were released three months later and Ibrahim still in detention.
Ibrahim  was only 17 years old at the time of his arrest. He has since turned 18 .A year in prison without charge is against all international principles of justice and humanity," said Somya Halawa.
Amnesty International has concluded that Ibrahim Halawa is a Prisoner of Conscience, detained solely for peacefully exercising his right to freedom of expression. The organization is calling for him to be released immediately and unconditionally, with all charges against him dropped.
Ibrahim was expected to appear before one of Egypt’s courts on July 16th,but the hearing was postponed until August the 12th for no reason where the judge recused himself that means the case will be back to zero point again.
“This trial was set to be little more than a pantomime. In recent months Egyptian courts appear to have been handing out mass death sentences based on flimsy evidence and following deeply flawed proceedings. These show trials followed by mass death sentences are becoming Egypt’s grim trademark,” said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.
“Ibrahim’s case is just one of many cases of injustice being meted out in Egypt’s courts. It shows the government’s determination to flout its obligations under international law,” said Said Boumedouha
Ibrahim also described how he was taunted by prison guards, who told him: "'Do you think the EU are going to save you? The passport is nothing, you are not someone important. They will not come and take you out.' But I know I am important, I am human and that is enough," Ibrahim said.
In a recent letter ,I got a copy of it ,Ibrahim wrote "I had a court hearing yesterday ,I didn’t even see the judge which is illegal .Also ,I didn’t get to talk to my lawyer and the cage was sound proof ".
Ibrahim and the other detainees refused to leave the court and as a result they were beaten. He wrote "we were beaten up, dragged down  the stairs ,handcuffed in threes, we were spat on".
Ibrahim and the other detainees came back to the prison angry and started a hunger strike. "Today is day one in the hunger strike and I will continue till we are released "He wrote.
The Irish government told us they work on providing Ibrahim with fair trail which is not out request. "We want him to be released immediately and unconditionally, with all charges against him dropped" said Somia Halawa.