Ibrahim Halawa is an Irish teen who was arrested and tortured after attending a political protest while on holiday in Egypt. He has been held in appalling conditions for over 2 years and now faces execution in a mass trial.
During a visit with his Reprieve caseworker, and in a recent letter to his family, Ibrahim has told of experimental torture being carried out in the prison where he is being held.
“This is the place where experimental torture is practised. This is the place that when you’re in, there is no out. Words will never do justice to what happens in Egyptian prisons.”
Ibrahim told his Reprieve caseworker that some prisoners were being tied naked in a crucifix position in the prison’s halls, while others had been electrocuted, using pools of water to increase the pain. Ibrahim added that he was regularly beaten with rubber bars, and was singled out by one senior guard for particular abuse. The caseworker observed that Ibrahim’s health appeared to be failing.
He also said confirmed that he was on a hunger strike in protest at his continued detention, saying: “Being in a mass trial will never grant me my freedom… I [am] not protesting for better conditions but to be released.”
“I really want to thank everyone who has supported me, because it is your help that will get me released.”
Ibrahim is from Dublin, and was just 17 when he was arrested in 2013 after the government of President Sisi seized power and launched a crackdown on protests. Although Ibrahim was a juvenile at the time of his arrest, he has been held in a series of adult prisons, and faces the death penalty as an adult in a trial of 494 peoples. He has reported abuse throughout his detention, and has been denied medical attention despite having been shot in the hand on his arrest.
Last week, during the visit of President Sisi to the UK, the Halawa family appealed to David Cameron to raise the case with Mr Sisi, while several MPs also raised concerns. A Foreign Office minister said that the UK had previously raised Ibrahim’s case. The Prime Minister has not confirmed whether the issue came up during his meetings with Mr Sisi.