Taoiseach "disturbed" by reports on Ibrahim Halawa's health

The Cabinet has agreed a plan to send an independent medical expert to assess the Dubliner's health in Cairo

Taoiseach "disturbed" by reports on Ibrahim Halawa's health

Undated photo of Ibrahim Halawa | Image: Facebook/Free Ibrahim Halawa

The Taoiseach has said he is “disturbed” by reports on the deteriorating health of Ibrahim Halawa.

Mr Halawa has been held without trial in Egypt for over three-and-a-half years.

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

The Dubliner’s family have warned that his health is deteriorating rapidly and that he is confined to a wheelchair - requiring injections to keep him alive.

Yesterday cabinet agreed a plan to send an independent medical expert to assess his health in the Egyptian prison that has held him since August 2013.

Speaking today, the Taoiseach Enda Kenny said it is important that the Irish government can verify the 21-year-old’s exact medical condition:

“I read a report where he was reported to be confined to a wheelchair and being sustained by glucose injections,” he said.

“I am disturbed by this and for that reason we want to have verified for us from an Irish medical qualified personnel point of view what is the medical condition of Ibrahim Halawa.”

Mr Halawa’s family have warned that he has a deteriorating heart condition and spent time on hunger strike, refusing water before he was hospitalised in February.

He has been imprisoned since his arrest during demonstrations against the ousting of former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi.

In a statement last week his family warned that he is dying - adding that they would hold both the Irish and Egyptian governments responsible for anything that happens to him.

They called on the government to push for his release on humanitarian grounds and warned that, "time is of the essence to save Ibrahim's life."