Family fearful for teen son in mass Egypt trial
The sister of Ibrahim Halawa (18) who will go on mass trial in Egypt today has revealed that the family do not expect justice.
The Irish-born teenager was arrested last year along with three of his sisters during a day of protests called by the Muslim Brotherhood against the ousting of President Mohamed Morsi.
Held without charge, he now faces trial today along with around 100 other people.
His sister Khadija told the Irish Independent that she fears for her brother's fate, saying: "There is no such thing as 'fair' in Egypt at the moment.
"For us to expect something to be done in a fair way is never going to happen. But we have big hope in God," Khadija said.
Her sister Nosayba has joined her mother in Egypt though they will not be permitted to attend the trial which could go ahead as late as 7pm Egyptian time.
The hearing was previously postponed but the family have learned that it will now definitely go ahead today because Ibrahim was transferred to the notorious Tora prison.
Khadija revealed that her friend had visited the Irish teenager in jail yesterday and said his spirits were high, though there were problems with the water and they were not receiving any food other than that brought in to him by his mother and sister.
She said their hopes for Ibrahim rest with God and with the disposition of the Judge.
"We're very worried about our brother. He seems so much older now. All we can do is pray," said Khadija.
Meanwhile, Nosayba Halawa told Newstalk this morning that her brother is enduring overcrowded conditions in prison.
“You can’t describe how bad the situation here in the prison, the treatment, even if you’re visiting him, it’s very, very bad”
“They moved him last Wednesday ...there are 35 sharing one cell now which would be smaller than the [cell] he had”
She said her brother's solicitor may not be given an opportunity to be heard today because so many cases will be heard at once.
“They make a defence group...480 persons, so the don’t allow all of the solicitors sometimes to speak.”