Family of Dublin man jailed in Egypt warns time running out as hunger strike continues

Callum Paton
Defendants in Egypt

The family of Irish citizen Ibrahim Halawa, jailed in Egypt since 2013, have warned time is running out for the 21-year-old as he enters the third month of a hunger strike.

Halawa was arrested in August 2013 in the midst of a government crackdown in Egypt during which at least 1,000 supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood were killed and tens of thousands arrested.

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Then 17 years old, Halawa was sheltering with other demonstrators supporting the Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi who was deposed just months earlier in a coup when he was arrested.

Since he was arrested the Dubliner's trial has been postponed 19 times, the Irish News reported. In protest at the conditions of his incarceration and demanding his right to a fair trial Halawa went on hunger strike two months ago. As his protests takes its toll his family says his condition is deteriorating.

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"We ask our government to urge the Egyptian government to release Ibrahim on humanitarian grounds We hold the Egyptian and Irish government the full responsibility if something was to happen to Ibrahim physically or mentally," they said in a statement adding that "time is of the essence".

According to reports Halwa was brought to see his aunt on Tuesday (1 March) in a wheelchair because he was too weak to stand.

Irish leader Enda Kenny has said he will raise the young man's case with Egyptian president Abdul Fattah el-Sisi. Kenny has said he hopes Sisi will use his presidential powers to intervene in the case.

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