Decision on Halawas in Egypt due at the weekend

Omaima, Fatima, Soumaia and Ebraheem have been in custody since stand-off at Cairo’s al-Fath mosque

Irish siblings (left to right) Ibrihim Halawa with sisters Fatima, Omaima and Somaia.

Irish siblings (left to right) Ibrihim Halawa with sisters Fatima, Omaima and Somaia.

 


A Cairo prosecutor yesterday told four Irish citizens detained during unrest in the city that no decision will be taken on their case until this weekend.

Omaima (21), Fatima (23), Soumaia (27) and their 17-year-old brother Ebraheem Halawa have been in custody since they were rounded up with scores of others after a stand-off between security forces and supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi at Cairo’s al-Fath mosque earlier this month.

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore has expressed concern about Egyptian media reports that four Irish citizens – believed to be the Halawa siblings – are among nine foreign nationals being investigated for charges including attempted murder, possessing firearms and belonging to a militant group.


Canadian doctor
The other foreigners detained include a Canadian doctor, a Canadian filmmaker and a Turkish TV journalist.

The Halawas, who were separated last weekend, were brought together to meet the prosecutor at a security facility in Cairo yesterday.

The meeting, which was scheduled for the morning, was delayed by several hours and eventually took place in early evening.

The Halawas’ lawyer was present but security officials refused access to two representatives from the Irish Embassy who had travelled to the facility for the meeting.


Military camp
Up to yesterday Ebraheem Halawa had been held in a military camp outside Cairo and his sisters were sent to a women’s prison.

The Halawas were visited over the weekend by their mother and a representative from the Irish Embassy. The weekend visit was the first time the siblings’ mother had been allowed access to them.

All four are said to be in good spirits. Ebraheem has received treatment for an injury to his hand. It is understood the wound was caused by birdshot fired by security forces as they attempted to break up a pro-Morsi rally the teenager was attending.