Giulio Regeni Murder: Egypt defies Italy

Edited by Nelly T.

Access to Italian-born Cambridge PhD student Giulio Regeni’s phones records have been denied by Egypt who claim that it is against Egyptian laws and the constitution.

The announcement came about only one day after Italy recalled its ambassador to Cairo over a “lack of co-operation” from Egyptian authorities over Mr. Regeni’s killing.

It was on the fifth anniversary of the 2011 uprising that the 28-year-old student disappeared; up until that point he was in Egypt researching labour movements.

It was only nine days after the 25th January that his body was found dumped on the side of the road showing obvious signs of having suffered being tortured.

Egypt’s notoriously brutal security services were immediately under suspicion by rights groups.

A series of “convenient truths” and various explanations have been offered by Egyptian authorities since the incident in an effort to distance themselves from any suggestion that they were involved.

First they suggested a simple traffic accident, and then it was a gay lover’s spat, rumors circulated by the pro-regime local media assured that it was the work of Muslim Brotherhood attempting to muddy relations between Italy and Egypt.

And most recently, security officials declared they had killed members of a “criminal gang” involved in kidnapping foreigners.

Photos of Mr Regeni’s passport and other various belongings stated to be found on the scene were spread closely followed this.

Egyptian officials instantly backtracked when Italian authorities voiced their suspicions on the authenticity of the “raid”, Egypt insisted that they had not come to any conclusions and were still investigating the murder.

The 2,000-page report, which arrived with the Egyptian team, was shortly followed by the departure of Italian Ambassador Maurizio Massari on Friday.

Sherief Gaber, an Egyptian activist tweeted: “I can only imagine how atrocious and insulting Egypt’s 2,000 page ‘report’ was for the Italians to recall their ambassador.”

The sentiment was echoed across the activist community and beyond.

The murder of Mr. Regeni has become the source of tension between Egypt and Italy, who otherwise have possessed a very good relations, coordinating on foreign policy and trade.