Postcard campaign highlights case of jailed Ibrahim Halawa

Dublin teenager has been in an Egyptian jail since August 2013

Somaia Halawa with a postcard of her brother Ibrahim Halawa to launch a camaign to free him at Buswells Hotel. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

Somaia Halawa with a postcard of her brother Ibrahim Halawa to launch a camaign to free him at Buswells Hotel. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times.

 

A postcard campaign was announced in Dublin on Monday to highlight the ongoing plight of Dublin teenager Ibrahim Halawa held in a Cairo prison since August 2013. The case is due for hearing again on December 15th.

Ibrahim’s sister Somaia Halawa said the campaign is intended to mark his 20th birthday, which is on December 13th, two days before his next court hearing. This will be his 10th trial date since his detention. He is charged with taking part in a banned protest in Cairo in July 2013.

The postcard wishes him a happy birthday and lets him know the sender is thinking of him.

The postcards, with an Irish stamp, will be sent to him at Wadi el-Natrun prison c/o the Irish Ambassador to Egypt Damien Cole, at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin.

Ms Halawa said her brother, who has been on hunger strike since October 21st last, was now so weak he had “lost consciousness four of five times” last Thursday when his mother and a representative of the Department of Foreign Affairs visited him in prison.

“He can’t take anymore. He hopes something can be done before the trial,” she said.

The postcard message to him is written in both English and Arabic, to allow a greater possibility of Ibrahim receiving it.

As Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan said “his prison guards don’t have English so there is Arabic (on the postcards) to maximine the possibility that they will get to him.”

Speaking at the launch, Mairéad Healy of the youth group Future Voices Ireland called on all young people to get behind the campaign.

She also called on them to contact their local TD about the case and Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan.