Friday 9 December 2016

Vigil held for Dublin man who spends 20th birthday in Egyptian prison

Published 13/12/2015 | 16:09

Ibrahims Nephew Khallad Ab U Hemid (6) outside the Egyptian Embassy,Dublin for a vigil for Ibrahim Halawa who
Ibrahims Nephew Khallad Ab U Hemid (6) outside the Egyptian Embassy,Dublin for a vigil for Ibrahim Halawa who"celebrated" his 20th birthday in prison in Egypt. Pic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Family and supporters of Ibrahim Halawa held a vigil outside the Egyptian Embassy in Dublin today to mark his 20th birthday.

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Thousands of well-wishers have sent messages to the Irish man who potentially faces execution in Egypt as he spends his third birthday behind bars.

Those who attended the vigil aimed to highlight the fact that Ibrahim has now been in an Egyptian prison without trial for over two years.

Supporters of the Dublin youth lit candles on a birthday cake and tied a banner with 121 ribbons attached to it to the embassy fence.

Ibrahim sisters Somaia,Fatima and Omaima with family and friends outside the Egyptian Embassy,Dublin for a vigil for Ibrahim Halawa who
Ibrahim sisters Somaia,Fatima and Omaima with family and friends outside the Egyptian Embassy,Dublin for a vigil for Ibrahim Halawa who"celebrated" his 20th birthday in prison in Egypt. Pic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

The ribbons were placed to signify the number of weeks the young man has spent in prison.

Ibrahim is said to have endured "torture and inhumane treatment" - including regular beatings - while in detention at the notorious Wadi Natrun prison.

Ibrahim was just 17 years old when he was arrested by the Egyptian army as he took refuge in a Cairo mosque while Muslim Brotherhood protesters staged a "day of rage" outside.

Demonstrators took to the streets in August 2013 after their elected leader, Mohamed Morsi, was ousted from power in a military "coup", leading to a crackdown ordered by army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, now the country's president.

It is feared Halawa, who was on his summer holiday in the Egyptian capital when violence flared, will face the death penalty when a mass trial of 494 alleged dissenters resumes on Tuesday.

The legal proceedings have been repeatedly delayed since 2013.

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