Government to send medical expert to assess Ibrahim Halawa

The 21-year-old has been detained in Egypt since 2013

Government to send medical expert to assess Ibrahim Halawa

Image: Facebook/Free Ibrahim Halawa

The Government is to send an independent medical expert to assess Ibrahim Halawa in prison in Egypt.

The health of the Dubliner is understood to be deteriorating rapidly.

His family says he is receiving glucose injections to keep him alive.

The 21-year-old has been detained since August 2013.

His trial is listed for hearing in Cairo today along with almost 500 others - however it has already been postponed 19 times.

His family say he has also been placed in a wheelchair and is suffering from a skin disease "as a result of the inhuman hospital prison he is held in".

In a previous statement, the Halawa family has said: "We ask our Government to urge the Egyptian government to release Ibrahim in humanitarian grounds."

They said they hold the Egyptian and Irish Government fully responsibility "if something was to happen to Ibrahim physically or mentally".

"Time is of the essence to save Ibrahim's life", the statement concluded.

Minister Katherine Zappone says they are worried for his health.

"In light of the discussion that ensued at Cabinet and colleagues sharing a concern, we've decided that we will look to have an independent medical expert be given access to Ibrahim Halawa in the Egyptian prison.

"At this stage, in light of Ibrahim's apparent deteriorating condition by way of his health, it's my affirmed viewed that we need to seek him him as soon as possible.

"And to begin to do things perhaps that we haven't done before - including insisting on sending an independent medical expert to see him".