2U CSPE and Amnesty International group: Meeting Somaia and Omamia Halawa.
On Monday 18th May we had the pleasure of welcoming Somaia and Omamia Halawa to Mount Temple. They are the sisters of Ibrahim Halawa. 2U have been researching and investigating his case in CSPE class, and the Amnesty group in the school have also taken an active interest in his plight. 2U decided to invite Ibrahim’s sisters to visit the school and talk more about his situation.
Ibrahim is an 18 year old man from Dublin. In the summer of 2013, after he completed his LeavingCert, he went to Egypt on holidays. While there he took part in a peaceful protest in Cairo. Everyone who attended the protest was arrested, including Ibrahim and his sisters. His sisters were in prison for 3 months after the arrest, but Ibrahim remains in prison in Egypt with no hope for a proper hearing and the death penalty hanging over him.
His sisters described the horrific conditions of prison in Egypt. They said 500 men would be locked up in a room similar in size to G8. Basic human requirements like water, sanitation, light and fresh air are denied. Prisoners are regularly beaten and tortured. Ibrahim has endured this for almost 2 years.
Somaia and Omamia and the rest of his family are desperate to have him released, and the sisters described the campaign to free him which is taking place. Their presentation was incredibly powerful and moved everyone who heard it. 2U plan to take action on the issue and they encourage all students to like the facebook page Free Ebraheen Halawa and to actively promote and highlight his situation. Further details are available on Amnesty International’s website.