Tuesday 16 January 2018

Halawa siblings face weeks of uncertainty

Ibrihim Halawa and sisters Fatima, Omaima and Somaia are in custody in Egypt
Ibrihim Halawa and sisters Fatima, Omaima and Somaia are in custody in Egypt

Fiona Ellis

THE Irish siblings detained in Egypt face more weeks of uncertainty before they can learn their fate.

The Halawas had travelled from Dublin to Egypt for their summer holidays.

They were arrested after joining a Muslim Brotherhood rally against the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi.

Omaima (20), Fatima (22) and Somaia (27) and their brother Ibrihim (17) were taken before a prosecutor in Cairo on Thursday when they expected to be either released or charged.

However, the decision was delayed until the weekend.

Yesterday afternoon, their older sister, Nosayba, learned that the chief prosecutor in her siblings' case delayed his decision for another 15 days. There was no reason given to her or her family for the delay.

Nosayba said: "Because of the situation in Egypt, what's happening is they are keeping people detained for six months. After that they have to either release them or put them through the courts."

The girls are being held together in Al Qanatir, a female prison in Cairo, and Ibrahim is being held in a military building.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said it was aware that the decision has been postponed for 15 days and was continuing to offer consular assistance to the family.

Irish Independent

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