Irish student imprisoned in Egypt begs to be buried in his homeland

Ibrahim Halaway has written home complaining that he witnessed torture and suffered emotional and physical abuse.

December 4, 2016 12:00
1 minute read.

Pasture near Ballyieragh, County Cork, Ireland. (photo credit: PAM BROPHY/WIKIMEDIA)

Ibrahim Halawa, an Irish student who has been detained in Cairo since 2013, wrote a letter home requesting he be buried in Ireland if he "does not make it out alive," according to a report in The Independent on Friday.

Halawa was arrested in Cairo for allegedly taking part in protests when he was 17. Now 21, he has written home complaining that he witnessed torture and suffered emotional and physical abuse. "I really need to complain to you about how one human enjoys torturing another human, the continued injustice, the oppression and the killing of the innocent," he wrote.

The Irish government has attempted in vain to secure Halawa's release from Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi.

The Independent
reported that Halawa's trial has been chaotic and disorganized, and has been adjourned 16 times. If Halawa is found guilty at its conclusion, he faces the death penalty.

The final line of Halawa's letter home begs his homeland to reclaim his body. "One final wish," he wrote, "I beg from you, if I die away from you, take me back from them to be buried in your soil to feel your goodbye tears."

The Egyptian court has a reputation for excessive and unreasonable sentencing for minors. In February, a court in western Cairo sentenced a four-year-old boy to life in prison on various charges, including murder. 

The child, Ahmed Mansour Karni, received the lengthy prison term after being convicted in absentia of offenses that allegedly occurred two years ago, when he was a mere two-years-old.

The boy was listed as "wanted" for murder, disturbance of the peace and damaging state property in an indictment that listed 115 other defendants sentenced to life imprisonment.

According to the indictment, the exorbitant charges against the youngster include four counts of murder, eight counts of attempted murder, vandalizing property belonging to the Egyptian Health Administration in his home province of el-Fayoum (located some 70 kilometers southwest of Cairo), threatening soldiers and police officers and damaging vehicles belonging to security forces. 

Yasser Okbi/Maariv HaShavua contributed to this report.

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