Latest: 'Government must intensify efforts to secure release of Ibrahim Halawa' says Adams

Update 8pm: Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams TD has said the Irish government must intensify its efforts to secure the release of Irishman Ibrahim Halawa.

Deputy Adams made the comments following the failure of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El- Sisi to include Ibrahim on list of 203 young prisoners who were released from prison yesterday. Ibrahim has spent more than three years imprisoned in Egypt.

"I want to air in the strongest possible terms my grave disappointment that Ibrahim Halawa was not released along with the other youth prisoners in Egypt yesterday," Adams said.

"Members of Ibrahim's family have today expressed their very serious fears regarding his worsening condition - going so far as to say that they believe that he is dying.

"Their fear and their anger is completely understandable.

"Ibrahim has been held without trial for over three years. His continued incarceration is an affront to basic human decency and justice.

"It is critically important that the Irish government, particulary Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister Charlie Flanagan, now intensify their efforts to secure Ibrahim's release."

Earlier: The family of Irish citizen Ibrahim Halawa believe he is dying in an Egyptian prison.

21-year-old Dubliner Ibrahim Halawa has been unlawfully imprisoned without trial in Egypt since August 2013.

Yesterday his aunt visited him in prison and was concerned by his condition. Ibrahim is suffering from a skin disease as a result of the hospital prison he is held in; his blood sugar has dropped to 34; and he was kept in a solitary confinement cell for 48 hours.

"Ibrahim is dying and we as a family will hold both governments responsible for anything to happen to him. We're running out of time," his family have said in a statement.

"We urge the Taoiseach to at least secure his release before it's too late. Former cell mate Peter Greste's government [Australia] was able to secure his welfare and release for the period he spent in prison.

"I am shocked that the Taoiseach can't at least secure his welfare nor his conditions. Securing Ibrahim's welfare means ensuring that he is placed in the best conditions possible."

Yesterday 203 political prisoners were released in Egypt, but Ibrahim was not among them.

"There has to be an end to this mass trial," his family added. "The Irish government should practice what they preach and that is everyone is innocent until proven guilty."

During a family holiday to Egypt, Ibrahim and his three sisters went to a protest in Cairo. When the protest turned violent they took refuge in the Al Fath mosque. Security forces stormed the mosque, arresting the four siblings.

Ibrahim’s sisters were released on bail; almost three years later, he remains in prison.

"It is obscene that Soha Gendi, the Egyptian ambassador to Ireland, sits quietly in Dublin after refusing an invitation to address members of the Oireachtas," said campaigner and member of the Council of State, Ruairí McKiernan.

"It is time to reflect on Ireland's trade and tourism relationship with Egypt, a country with a terrible human rights record. Some things are more important that cattle exports.

"We are talking about a young Irish man who could be about to die, a young man denied the right to a trial for over three years. On a week that the government is talking about Irish values there is a moral imperative to go above and beyond to save this young man's life."


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