‘It’s Normal To Be Cursed, Stripped Naked, Beaten With A Bar’



Ibrahim Halawa

Ibrahim Halawa, in The Guardian, writes:

Each time you are transferred to a new prison, there is something called “the party”. They show you who’s boss. In most cases it’s beatings, but in one, we were stripped, told to lie down facing the ground with our arms behind our back, and they started to jump on our backs, from one prisoner to the next.

It’s normal to be cursed, stripped naked, beaten with a bar, or put in solitary confinement or the “tank” (a pitch-black 3.5m x 5.5m cell). They might also torture another prisoner in front of you. Of course you never forget. Ever.

After a prison “inspection”, you might go back to your cell and find things missing. If your family visits and you get something from them that the guards like, you may as well forget it.

Once, coming back from a hearing in my mass trial, I was hit with the back of an AK47 and asked where I was from. The officer put his AK47 to my chest and said: “I wish I could take you out, you fucking Irish. But I can’t.”

During a recent hunger strike, I was left to die. I was out. My fellow prisoners, with whom I share a cell, banged on the door for help – they were told: “When he dies, knock.” That is a really small fraction of what happens and has happened to me.

…The capacity of the prison is 2,000. It currently holds more than 6,000 prisoners.

…Ireland – I miss everything about Ireland. Home, family, friends, the people, school, going out, laughing, love, hiking, swimming, the kindness. I miss going out to the sights, seeing Ireland and Irish nature.

I miss town and the noise of the city and how at 9pm it shuts and no one is in the street. I miss the fresh air. TV.

Cinema. Fishing. Go-karting. Shopping. Running for the Dublin bus. Eating at Chippers. Looking far away – the furthest I have seen in over 1,000 days is less than half a kilometre. I miss my bed and my pillows. I miss the Cliffs of Moher. The parks. I miss eating popcorn and cookies. I could go on for ever.

In prison in Egypt, it’s normal to be stripped, beaten, witness tortureIbrahim Halawa (The Guardian)

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72 thoughts on “‘It’s Normal To Be Cursed, Stripped Naked, Beaten With A Bar’

  1. Harry Molloy

    Bottom line is that he’s a citizen who has been in jail for years without a trial. That ain’t right.

          1. Harry Molloy

            of course they’re very different situations. most arrests are.

            did you support internment in northern Ireland?

        1. pedeyw

          Pat Hickey is not in custody anymore, he’s been granted bail after two weeks in prison, those two things are not the same.

          1. rotide

            Pat Hickey was granted bail by Brazil. Ibrahim has not been granted bail by Egypt. Ireland has nothing to do with either of these things.

        2. De Kloot

          Well, now he’s lying up in some fancy pad in Rio…. However, come back in three or four years time and play your stupid game of whataboutery……

        3. rotide

          There really isn’t any difference between the two cases.

          Both have been arrested for something that isn’t a crime in Ireland. Both are awaiting trial. Neither have been returned to Ireland.

          The major difference is that Brazil seems to have a first world justice system and Egypt doesn’t.

    1. pedeyw

      In fairness, the use of his Egyptian passport isn’t saying a lot. I imagine most people with dual citizenship will use the destination country’s passport when travelling there (outside the EU). It’s a lot easier. I have friends with US passports that will use them when travelling to the US.

      1. Kieran NYC


        Also who cares what he apparently said at a political rally? He’s an Irish citizen being held without trial.

        1. Sido

          You’re right Kieran – Enough of this diplomacy. Enda should send in the fishery protection vessels – that would teach these so called Egyptians a thing or two.

      2. ALisonT

        Yea – and if they get arrested in the US they get treated as a US citizen. There are dozens of people with entitlements to Irish passports remanded around the world but they don’t get much sympathy.

    2. Starina

      if you’re an american witb dual citizenship you have to enter the USA with your American passport. i would imagine Egypt has similar rules.

      the more you know°

    1. MoyestWithExcitement

      Just FYI, there was/is a video on youtube of him saying, while inside a mosque (I think), ‘back home in Ireland’ but carry on…

    2. Kieran NYC

      Well that settles it then. He obviously gave up all his human rights because he said something once.

    3. Rob_G

      How you feel about a place doesn’t actually have any bearing with regards to citizenship and international law, etc.

          1. Medium Sized C

            We were asked to be brief. There are thousands of Egyptians in jail in Egypt at the moment for protesting or being associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.
            So much so that it could be left unsaid.

          2. Brother Barnabas

            And is a member of a political organisation called Egyptians Abroad (in this instance, the Egyptian = him and the Abroad = Ireland, but now he’s saying he’s acually Irish – and misses the Cliffs of Moher)

  2. Twunt

    I imagine articles like this earn him some special attention.

    We can but hope that he and all the other Muslim Brotherhood Fascists with him, spend a good few years in that place.

  3. Tish Mahorey

    Anyone who doesn’t object to this detention without trial is simply racist and a bigot.

    Some Irish (usually older generation) simply cannot get their heads around the fact that many Irish are not white and not Catholic.

    They’ll kick up a fuss about Pat Hickey being treated unfairly but not care in the slightest about Ibrahim Halawa who is being tortured for years.

    1. ALisonT

      There was very little sympathy in Ireland for Pat Hickey and I imagine if he had traveled on a Brazilian passport he would have had even less. Not everything is racist just because it involves a person of a different race.

      1. Tish Mahorey

        “There was very little sympathy in Ireland for Pat Hickey”

        There was and is among the established media. Did you not hear the Marian Finucane propaganda campaign at the weekend and read all the supportive articles in the Indo?

        Halawa got nothing like it. The odd piece from the Irish Times, plenty from BS and other independent websites but no co-ordinated PR campaign of support like Hickey is getting.

        1. rotide

          This exists only in your head like a lot of other things. There were a couple of pieces on it across all of RTE’s programming. Most of the covereage of Hickey has been pretty negative towards him.

    2. Owen C

      “Anyone who doesn’t object to this detention without trial is simply racist and a bigot.”

      Generalise much? I’d have let Michaela or Pat rot away abroad, so i dont know what that makes me. Probably just a bit mean, but unlikely to be a racist or a bigot.

  4. hmmm

    Baffles me why anyone would support the return of this Muslim Brotherhood Islamist, anyone with any knowledge of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood would be for leaving him over there.

    1. Medium Sized C

      That’s basically Abdul Fattih el-Sisi’s position.

      I’m not about to politically align myself with a tyrant in the mould of Bashir Assad or Saddam Hussein.
      Slapping people who’s political / religious opinions differ from yours in jail is a really bad thing to be in favour of.

    2. bisted

      …the Muslim Brotherhood were democratically elected…a bit like Mattie McGrath, Alan Kelly and Michael Lowry in Tipp…baffles me too, but that’s democracy. I prefer democracy to US/Israeli backed regime change and military coups…even if it does throw up Alan Kelly…

      1. hmmm

        Say that to the women of Egypt along with the Coptic Christians and others, the Muslim Brotherhood were/are deplorable. Just because a government is democratically elected doesnt give it an immediate moral high ground, judgment should be made with the parties actions in mind, i’m not saying the current administration in Egypt is much better but the Muslim Brotherhood showed their tru colours….and you would question the intentions of its members especially ones that have been educated well in Ireland and still support their policies

          1. Medium Sized C

            If I had the choice between el-Sisi and Morsi for the figure who behaved most like Hitler, I’m not picking Morsi.

    3. Bob

      It baffles me that people here support being imprisoned indefinitely without trial. You’d be none to impressed if FG locked you away and the rest of us said it served you right.

      1. Tish Mahorey

        FG are not too far from doing just that. They would if they could get away it. The people are almost divided enough now to do it.

        1. Medium Sized C

          No they aren’t.
          No they wouldn’t.
          No they aren’t.

          I hope you never get what you wish for.

  5. Turgenev

    Is there a (trusted) person with fluent Arabic who could put subtitles on that video? For all I know he’s recommending that people eat Big Macs covered in chocolate.

    In any case, he should be home in Ireland. He was arrested *three years ago* aged 17 (when most of us are gobshites anyway) and has had several appearances along with hundreds of others who are simultaneously remanded for months. No trial. No justice. No fairness.

    He could be back in Ireland where there could be an investigation of whether he did anything illegal in Egypt; he could even be held in jail in Ireland while this investigation happens. He shouldn’t be in jail in Egypt.

      1. Janette, I ate my avatar

        you have a bit of an obsession with that one Peter, not the first time you have brought that up,

  6. Cop On

    It would take the Guardian to publish this. No danger the Islamophobic Irish Times would touch it – after all, muslims didn’t vote YES for same sex marriage.

    Una Mullally on Burkinis? Hell no. Bunkbed generation and the Electric Picnic.

    1. Twunt

      No danger The Guardian would ask any hard questions around his Muslim Brotherhood membership, don’t want to appear to be racist.

  7. Kieran NYC

    So Broadsheet, which of the posters above is one of An Emotional Tish’s other admitted troll accounts? And who else has multiple accounts to stir the pot?

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