Family say Ibrahim Halawa’s life now in danger

The Firhouse man went on hunger strike at the Egyptian prison two months ago and now his family claim his health has sharply deteriorated and they are urging authorities for his release.

He refused glucose for one week at Torah prison and as punishment has been put in solitary confinement, his sister Somaia Halawa said yesterday.

“Time is of the essence to save Ibrahim’s life,” Halawa’s family said in a statement.

“We ask our [Irish] government to urge the Egyptian government to release Ibrahim on humanitarian grounds.

“At the last weekly visit by an aunt on Tuesday, Ibrahim was brought to his aunt on a wheel chair due to his deteriorating as a result of his hunger strike.

“If something was to happen to Ibrahim physically or mentally we will hold both the Irish and Egyptian governments responsible.”

Halawa has gone on hunger strike protests several times throughout his detention and has lost at least 30kg, according to his family.

His blood sugar level has dropped to 39 mg/dl, an adult’s normal blood sugar level ranges from 70 to 99 mg/dl.

Egypt deny that Halawa’s health had deteriorated.

Halawa was detained in August 2013, when he was 17 years old, along with hundreds of others after taking refuge in a mosque from a bloody crackdown on demonstrators who had protested the removal of democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi, leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Egyptian authorities have repeatedly delayed a mass trial of hundreds, including Halawa, often because one or more defendants were unable to attend. His next trial is due to take place in March 22.

His lawyers and human rights groups have claimed that Halawa has been beaten, tortured and electrocuted in jail.

Egypt has led an extensive crackdown on the now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group and liberal activists since 2013, when the military deposed Morsi.

If convicted, Halawa could face the death penalty under Egyptian law.