AUGUST 2013 was a turbulent time in Egypt – with the ousted President Morsi’s departure stirring up violent riots.
At this time, Dublin teenager Ibrahim Halawa was in the Northern African country with his sisters.
At 17, he had just finished his Leaving Cert in Dublin, and was on a holiday in his family’s native country.
As the violence and disruption across Cairo built, Halawa joined a peaceful protest against the removal of President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Firhouse, Co. Dublin native was jailed – and two and a half years later, now aged 20, Halawa remains in an Egyptian prison.
Last weekend saw the 12th attempt to get Halawa, and the hundreds others imprisoned, to trial – but it be March at earliest before their case is heard.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Amnesty International have called for his release – but so far, there has been no significant progress.
Here is what you need to know about Irishman Ibrahim Halawa
1. Ibrahim was born in the Coombe Hospital in 1995 and went to school in Ballycullen. A normal Irish teenager, he played football and listened to music with his close group of friends
2. His parents are Egyptian – and the Halawas have a large extended family still living in the country. They visit regularly in the summer
3. After finishing his Leaving Cert, he travelled to Cairo in late June 2013 with his three sisters for their trip to see their family
4. He wanted to go to Spain with his friends for a post-Leaving Cert holiday but eventually decided on the usual visit to Egypt to visit relatives
5. They were almost two months in Egypt when they were caught up a protest against the President’s removal
6. The Halawa family claim they took refuge in a mosque – where Cairo police claimed they were fired at – and along with his sisters, Ibrahim was arrested
7. During the protests, 97 people died – and Amnesty International says most of these deaths were due to a “reckless use of force by the security forces”
8. Despite his sisters being released in November 2013 and being able to travel back to Ireland, Halawa remains in his prison
9. More than 400 of those arrested – including Halawa – have been charged with murder and attempted murder
10. Along with 493 other people, Halawa has been awaiting trial for almost two and a half years – but it has been postponed 12 times so far
11. If he is convicted, he could face the death penalty