Doctor recommends releasing Halawa from prison for medical tests

His family says his health has been deteriorating as a result of a hunger strike

A doctor sent by the Irish government to examine Ibrahim Halawa has recommended releasing him from prison for further medical tests.

Ibrahim's family claim that he's been rushed to hospital in Egypt and his health has been deteriorating as a result of a hunger strike protest.

The Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan says he has again raised the case today with high ranking EU and Arab officials.

Speaking from Luxembourg where he is participating in the EU Foreign Affairs Council, he said "As in any consular case, the health of an individual citizen and details their medical history and treatment are private and confidential.

"I can confirm that the Government arranged for a doctor to visit Ibrahim Halawa in prison last week. The doctor recommended further medical assessments and that Mr Halawa be released to facilitate such tests."

Last month, Ibrahim Halawa's trial was delayed for the 20th time. As of now, he's spent almost four years in an Egyptian jail since his arrest during demonstrations against the ousting of president Mohammed Morsi. 

High priority

Flanagan continued by saying "Today (Monday), I discussed the case with the Secretary General of the League of Arab States, former Egyptian Foreign Minister, Abou El Gheit.

"I also again raised the case with the EU's High Representative, Vice President Federica Mogherini who has taken a personal interest in the case."

He finished by saying "This case remains a high priority for the government and it continues to receive unprecedented attention and resources in Dublin and in Cairo. We will continue our efforts to see Ibrahim returned to Ireland without delay."

Ibrahim's sister Somaia says he collapsed again at the weekend and now she's afraid that he has an infection.