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Ibrahim's two-year detention says much about Egypt today

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Ibrahim Halawa’s sisters (from left) Fatima, Omaima and Somaia protesting at Leinster House last month

Ibrahim Halawa’s sisters (from left) Fatima, Omaima and Somaia protesting at Leinster House last month

Ibrahim Halawa’s sisters (from left) Fatima, Omaima and Somaia protesting at Leinster House last month

On the night of August 17 two years ago I received a call from a panicked friend of Ibrahim Halawa and his three sisters.

The friend had just heard the siblings give anguished phone interviews to an Arab TV channel from inside a Cairo mosque which was being besieged by Egyptian security forces. I called the Irish ambassador to Egypt, Isolde Moylan, and informed her four Irish citizens were stuck inside the mosque. I also passed on their mobile phone number so she could make contact with Ibrahim, then 17 years old, and his older sisters Soumaia, Fatima and Omaima.


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