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Crucifixion and electrocution - the horrendous conditions of Ibrahim Halawa's captivity

The Dublin teenager is now on hunger strike, and says he will remain so until he is released.

ibra Ibrahim Halawa

IBRAHIM HALAWA, THE Dublin teenager who has been imprisoned in Egypt for more than two years under the shadow of a possible death penalty, has spoken out regarding the circumstances of his imprisonment.

In a letter to his family, Ibrahim (19) describes the ‘experimental torture’ carried out in the jail in which he’s imprisoned.

This torture, according to a caseworker from Reprieve (a human rights organisation) who recently met with Halawa, includes prisoners being strapped naked in crucifix positions in the prison halls, and water electrocution, while Ibrahim himself has been subject to repeat beatings with rubber bars.

In the letter Ibrahim bemoans the corruption of the Egyptian judicial system, and says that being part of a mass trial as he has repeatedly been will never grant him his freedom.

Instead, he says he is merely “waiting in a queue for my turn on a death rope”.

ibra2 Ibrahim Halawa's letter to his family

Click here to view a larger image

The letter also serves to confirm that Ibrahim is currently on hunger strike, and has been so for at least 20 days.

A statement from Reprieve claims that Ibrahim’s health is failing as a combination result of his hunger strike and the poor conditions in which he is imprisoned.

Halawa has been detained in Egypt for the past 28 months, along with 493 other prisoners.

His detention happened in the aftermath of Egyptian president Abdul Fattah el-Sisi seizing power in July 2013 amid a crackdown on protests.

Just last month Halawa’s mass trial in Cairo was postponed once more as two of his 419 co-defendants were not well enough to stand trial.

That was the ninth time he had been brought to trial only for the action to be suspended.

The next such trial is scheduled to take place on 15 December.

This week South Dublin County Council unanimously passed a motion calling on the Taoiseach to call for the release of Ibrahim.

During Sisi’s recent visit to the UK Ibrahim’s family called on David Cameron to raise his case in their discussions, though the prime minister did not confirm whether or not this had actually happened.

The full text of Ibrahim’s letter to his family is below:

I write with a ticking clock closer to my death. For the past two years and three months I have been imprisoned unjustly. I’m waiting in a queue for my turn on the death rope. My only crime is being innocent. I have waited for the Egyptian government to prove otherwise but clearly hasn’t.
There are many laws to prove my right to be released or handed back to my country but the judicial system in Egypt is very corrupt. Being in a mass trial will never grant me my freedom. I have been thrown in a place that is in no way humanitarian to live in. The very same place a lot suffer. In Egypt no-one hears their cry. This is the place where experimental torture is practiced. This the place once you’re in there is no out.
Words will never do justice to what happens in Egyptian prisons. Now that I have finished my arrest period as a defendant and have given the judicial system in Egypt the full time to prove I am guilty, I protest for my freedom by going on a hunger strike since 21 October 2015. I have now been on a hunger strike for 20 days and it will continue until I am released. I will continue regardless of my bad health conditions. Because in Egypt you must pay your life in order to be released.
I will not be protesting for better conditions but to be released. I really want to thank everyone who has supported me because it is your help that will get me released. I do not believe in the Egyptian judicial system but I believe in hope and my hope is to make it back home one day. Alive.

Ibrahim Halawa, Prison 440.

Read: Ibrahim Halawa’s trial has been delayed yet again

Read: Ibrahim Halawa is in “reasonable spirits in trying circumstances”

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