Giulio Regeni Murder: UK and Italy call for a Transparent Investigation

Edited by Nelly T.

Egypt’s rejection of Italy’s request to hand over phone records of mobile subscribers in a Cairo district where Italian doctoral student Giulio Regeni lived before he was abducted, tortured and killed did not please Italian authorities who demanded full transparency of the investigation many times before.

The request was denied again on Tuesday when Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri spoke to reporters in Cairo saying Egypt will examine the records and convey any findings to the Italians.

A senior Egyptian prosecutor last week said the nation had rejected the Italian request because it violates the law and the constitution. The Foreign Minister parroted this explanation and failed to properly explain exactly how Egypt would share its findings with Rome.

Meanwhile the British government has spoken up over the incident saying it raised his case with Egyptian authorities in London and Cairo and called for a full and transparent investigation.

After a petition circulated by the 28-year-old Italian’s friends and colleagues called upon the UK government to take steps to ensure a full investigation into his death the Foreign and Commonwealth Office issued the statement. The petition gained over 10,000 supporters.

Conservative MP Crispin Blunt said the FCO needs to take steps to counter the perception that ministers had “deprioritized human rights” following up with saying “strong support” to the Italian government over the Regeni case would be “an excellent place to start.” Blunt’s comments came before the statement was made.

Mr. Regeni went missing on the anniversary of Egypt’s 2011 uprising, 25 January, in an attempt to prevent protests police went out in force that day, increasing speculation that they were responsible for the abduction. Italian authorities found out 3 February, nine days later, that the doctoral student’s body was reported located along a highway on Cairo’s outskirts by Egyptian authorities.

The incident was first dismissed as a traffic accident by Egyptian officials, however after an initial autopsy preformed by Egyptian authorities in Cairo and another preformed in Rome after the body had flown in on Saturday. The autopsy preformed in Rome found Regeni had suffered extensive bruising and fractures and died after a neck vertebra was broken, perhaps by a heavy blow or a violent twisting of the head.

Italian media have gathered a hypothesis the elements in Egypt’s security force, which have been criticised by human rights champions, had arrested the young man before his death because he was in contact with Egyptian labor activists as part of his research.

Egypt’s interior research rejected the claims that Regeni had been arrested and confirmed that his country’s investigators are working hard to resolve the murder.

Italy’s ambassador in Egypt has recently been recalled, as a sign of protest to what it said was Cairo’s lack of cooperation in the Regeni investigation.