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Cairo Cellmates

In August 2013, Ibrahim Halawa was arrested in Cairo. He has since spent 3yrs in an Egyptian Prison. Acclaimed journalist Peter Greste, cellmate of Ibrahim Halawa for 7 months, now gives a searing eyewitness account of this controversial case (2016)

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3.6/5 (115 ratings)

Documentary Maker: Robert Mulhern

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Documentary maker: Liam O'Brien

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Cairo Cellmates

In the summer of 2014 Ibrahim Halawa walked into a packed cell in Egypt’s notorious Tora Prison, Cairo.

The Irish student was dressed in a white uniform stamped with the word Accused and carried the weight of nearly one year in prison without trial. 

Ibrahim had been arrested, aged 17, in September 2013, after leaving his home in Dublin to travel to Egypt where he attended a pro-democracy rally held by the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood organization in the capital. He was then sent to Scorpion Prison where he claims he was beaten and tortured.

Since his arrest, Ibrahim's citizenship, faith and Egyptian background have complicated his case, while government representations to the Egyptian authorities have proved largely unsuccessful. 

Now, after more than a 1,000 days in prison Ibrahim's story continues to divide public opinion in Ireland, despite calls from Amnesty International and many other human rights organisations for his immediate release.

Peter Greste, a former BBC journalist was working for the Al-Jazeera network in Cairo when he was arrested in December 2013 by the Egyptian authorities. In August 2014, Ibrahim Halawa was moved into Peter's cell - where they spent the following seven months together. 

Peter was released in February 2015. 

Now, for the first time, Peter breaks his silence on his time behind bars with Ibrahim Halawa. His testimony provides a searing account of his incarceration in Cairo’s Tora Prison with 20-year-old from Firhouse in Dublin.

Greste’s case caught the attention of the world when he and two Al-Jazeera colleagues were sent to jail by the Egyptian government for spreading false news and aiding the Muslim Brotherhood in 2014.

The case sparked a high level diplomatic intervention, spearheaded by the Australian and US Governments. 

Ibrahim Halawa remains in an Egyptian prison - ahead of a June 29th 2016 rescheduled trial date... 

UPDATE: On September 18th 2017, after being adjourned on 28 separate occasions, Ibrahim Halawa was found not guilty of all charges against him, and was finally released after almost 1,500 days in prison.

Narrated by Robert Mulhern

Produced by Robert Mulhern and Liam O'Brien

Research by Elliot Rambach

First Broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1 - Saturday 11th June 2016.

An Irish radio documentary from RTÉ Radio 1, Ireland - Documentary on One - the home of Irish radio documentaries.

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