Ibrahim Halawa, from Dublin, was arrested by Egyptian police after joining a protest in Cairo.
The 19-year-old was on holiday with his sisters Omaima, Fatima, and Somaia, in 2013, when they joined the protest against the removal of former President Mohammad Morsi by the military, and the killing of 800 peopled in Rabaa Square by the police three days earlier.
They were arrested after seeking refuge in a nearby mosque. Ibrahim was then sent to the notorious Tora prison, while his sisters were released a few months later.
According to Reprieve, one of the human rights groups supporting the teenager, they face charges of ‘attending an illegal protest’ and stand accused of ‘causing death and criminal damage… despite the total lack of evidence linking them to these crimes’.
Maya Foa, head of Reprieve’s death penalty team, told BuzzFeed News:
It is a disgrace that Ibrahim – a teenager who has committed no crime – is still languishing in the most horrific conditions, two years after his arrest, and facing a potential death sentence.
His mass trial alongside 493 others is a mockery of justice. He is being illegally tried as an adult, and the group have barely been able to present a defence in a year of hearings.
It’s clear that the Egyptian authorities have no intention of seeing justice done in his case. The Irish government and other countries should be pushing for his immediate release, and an end to the terrible oppression the last two years have seen in Egypt.
His sister Khadija told BuzzFeed News that he was suffering from health issues in prison, and has been denied access to medical treatment, as well as basic sanitation and water facilities. She added that he was beaten by the guards when he was first put in the prison.