Halawa sisters to be released in Egypt

Thursday 14 November 2013 23.48
The Halawas have been held for three months without charge
The Halawas have been held for three months without charge

Three of the four Irish citizens detained following unrest in Egypt earlier this year are to be released.

Sisters Somaia, Fatima and Omaima Halawa were taken into custody in August following a protest in Cairo.

Their brother, Ibrahim, is due to attend another court hearing on Saturday.

The three are expected to be released tomorrow.

The siblings had been detained without specific charge since August.

They became trapped in the al-Fateh mosque after taking part in a protest related to the ousting of former Egyptian president Mohammed Mursi.

In a statement, Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Eamon Gilmore said he welcomed the release of the women.

Mr Gilmore said: "I telephoned Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy on Monday last to express my concern that the Halawa siblings had been kept in prison for almost three months without being charged with an offence.

"I also expressed the Government's hope and expectation that the situation would be brought to a satisfactory conclusion in the near future.

"Throughout their time in detention, our Embassy in Cairo has been in regular contact with them, visiting them in prison and providing consular assistance."