Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Tony Blair urged to intervene in case of Irish teen on Egypt's death row

Tony Blair urged to intervene in case of Irish teen on Egypt's death row
Tony Blair urged to intervene in case of Irish teen on Egypt's death row

Tony Blair has been urged to intervene in the case of an Irish teenager who has been imprisoned without trial in Egypt for a year and is now facing the death penalty.

Ibrahim Halawa was arrested last August with his three sisters after being caught up in a military siege of a mosque in Cairo during a protest over the killing of demonstrators a few days earlier.

Last week, the 18-year-old, from Firhouse in Dublin, appeared in court alongside 480 other prisoners in a mass trial, but proceedings were postponed.

His family said yesterday that he has begun a hunger strike.

His father, Sheikh Hussein Halawa, is the Republic's most senior Muslim cleric.

The charity Reprieve, which campaigns against the death penalty, has written to Mr Blair urging him to use his influence with the Egyptian government.

The former premier is an informal economic adviser to Egypt's president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi.

It is understood Mr Blair has received the letter, but a spokeswoman for him declined to comment.

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