An Irish teenager who was arrested after a joining a pro-Democracy protest in Egypt in 2013, has been told that he could be sentenced to death in the next few weeks.
Born in Dublin, Ibrahim Halawa was only 17 when he was arrested for simply joining in on a protest against the forced removal of former President Mohammad Morsi by the military, and the killing of 800 peopled in Rabaa Square by the police three days earlier – a protest in which he had every right to join.
However, according to The Independent, after taking refuge in a nearby mosque, Ibrahim and his three sisters were arrested and he was sent to the notorious Tora Prison, also known as Scorpion Prison, in Cairo.
Since his arrest very little has been known about his progress in jail, but now a letter obtained by The Independent has detailed his horrific treatment, torture, and abuse.
Now 20 years old, Halawa wrote in his letter that he has been beaten, abused, and mentally tortured during his three years in jail. Such mental torture involves being forced to watch as other prisoners are brutally tortured or even barbarically crucified.
He also wrote that due to the chaos surrounding his mass trial, with 493 other defendants, no one has been permitted to speak on his behalf in court and absolutely nothing has been given to his lawyers.
Mass trials are merely common nature in Egypt, especially following the events of 2013. Numerous trials have seen death sentences being handed out in the hundreds.
It is thought that Irish national Halawa will be tried on June 29 and if found guilty he will be sentenced to death by hanging.
Prominent Irish politicians have lobbied for his release, but so far no luck.
Hopefully there will be soon be an end to this madness, though the future looks bleak if nothing drastic is done soon.
Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.