Halawa siblings to be detained in Cairo for a further 15 days

Irish citizens caught up in unrest in Egypt are thought to be held in a security camp

A family  photo of Irish siblings (left to right) Ibrihim Halawa with sisters Fatima, Omaima and Somaia who have been detained by Egyptian authorities. Photograph: Family handout/PA Wire.

A family photo of Irish siblings (left to right) Ibrihim Halawa with sisters Fatima, Omaima and Somaia who have been detained by Egyptian authorities. Photograph: Family handout/PA Wire.

 

The detention of four Irish siblings in Egypt has been extended for a further 15 days, according to sources close to the situation.

The four - sisters Soumaia (27) Fatima (23) and Omaima Halawa (21), and their brother Ebraheem (17) - were among nine foreign nationals initially detained during civil unrest in Ciaro, for up to 15 days pending police checks on their activities.

As the initial 15 days expired, well placed sources said the detention has been extended for the same length again. Late last week the family said the four had appeared before a prosecutor, but representatives of the Department of Foreign Affairs were understood to be unable to visit them last week.

It is understood the four are being held at the Salam Security camp in Cairo. They were arrested after taking refuge in the al-Fateh mosque, during a protest in support of the deposed president, Mohamed Morsi.

The siblings who were on holiday in Egypt are being investigated for possible charges which may include attempted murder, possession of arms and explosives, and belonging to a militant group.

Representatives of the family could not be contacted today but the Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin said it was continuing to provide consular assistance to the Halawa family. A spokesman for the department said it could not confirm the renewal of their detention.