Report: Irish siblings face attempted murder charges in Egypt
on 29/08/2013 17:12:42
The three Halawa sisters and their 17-year-old brother were arrested two weeks ago after taking part in a protest calling for the re-instatement of former President Mohammed Morsi.
It is reported they face charges including attempted murder, possession of firearms and belonging to a militant group.
Their sister Nusayba Halawa has said they will appear before a prosecutor in the coming hours.
Ireland's Chairman of the committee on foreign affairs and trade, Pat Breen, revealed that he was briefed this week on the family's plight by Ahmed Mostafa, charge d'Affaires at the Embassy of Egypt.
"The Charge said they were being well-treated, that the Embassy of Ireland had consular access to them, and that they were receiving family visits," said Mr Breen.
"He said it was for the justice system to decide the way forward."
Mr Breen said he hoped for the early return of the siblings and had deep concerns at the bloodshed that had taken place and over the difficulties that this was likely to cause for a return to a working democratic system.
"I stressed the importance of restoring constitutional government and adherence to the principles of human rights in the treatment of detainees," Mr Breen said.
He revealed that the Charge told him the Muslim Brotherhood had declined every offer to enter into the new reality that existed in Egypt, and that the situation in Raba al Adwiya Square and the Raba 'a Mosque, and in particular the presence there of firearms, and the increasing involvement of fundamentalist groups, gave the authorities no option but to take action.
"He said the future of President Morsi and other detainees would be determined by the courts," Mr Breen added.