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Saturday, 21 July 2018

Investigation ongoing into Italian student Giulio Regeni killed in Egypt

Egypt summoned the Italian ambassador on Thursday to express condolences and discuss latest developments, the ambassador arrived at the morgue later on in the afternoon

Ahram Online , Thursday 4 Feb 2016
A car belonging to the Italian ambassador is parked outside of Cairo, Egypt's central morgue where the body of Giulio Regeni, A 28-year-old graduate student, is held, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016 (AP)
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Conflicting media reports and narratives are surrounding the mysterious death of an Italian citizen whose lifeless body was found dumped along a highway in Egypt's Giza governorate on late Wednesday.

According to the Italian foreign ministry and his friends, Giulio Regeni, 28, disappeared on Jan. 25, the five-year anniversary of the 2011 revolution, after leaving his home in Dokki, an upper middle class area in Cairo, to meet a friend downtown.

Days before his body was discovered, Regeni's disappearance was widely circulated by many social media users on both Facebook and Twitter questioning his whereabouts with a trending hashtag ‘Where is Giulio Regeni?’

Egypt's prosecution said in official statements that there were cigarette burns and signs of torture on Regeni's body, while Reuters quoted Ahmed Nagy, a senior prosecutor in Giza Province, who said that there were also signs of beatings and cuts to the ears.

Regeni’s body was found half-naked and eventually identified by his roommate. The body is currently in Cairo's Zinhom morgue.

The deputy head of investigations at Giza's police department told several local media outlets that Regeni's death might have occurred as a result of a traffic accident, adding that there is no criminal suspicion in the incident.

Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met with his Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni in Geneva to discuss the causes behind the incident.

The two ministers agreed to work together to determine the cause of the student’s death. 

The Italian government has summoned the Egyptian ambassador to demand maximum cooperation in a probe into what happened, as Italy's foreign ministry issued a statement earlier on Thursday saying that it "expects its own experts to be involved in the investigation."

The Italian ambassador to Egypt went to the morgue Thursday afternoon.

Italy's Minister of Economic Development Federica Guidi reportedly withdrew late Wednesday from talks with Egyptian officials in a protest of the incident.

Regeni is a Cambridge University PhD student who was conducting research in Egypt on trade unions after the 2011 uprising. 

Reuters published additional details of the Italian citizen, which showed that he spoke four languages and had won several scholarships.

Cambridge University issued a statement on Thursday expressing its "condolences" and "deep sadness" over Regeni's death.

Ahram Online spoke to one of Regeni's Egyptian friends, who preferred to remain unnamed, who indicated that he received several emails and phone calls from Regeni asking for contacts of labor rights activists so that he could interview them for his research.

The friend said the Regeni vowed that he would not go out for any interviews or fieldwork until after the January 25 anniversary.

"Then, on the morning of January 25, Regeni texted me asking me if there were any plans for a birthday celebration for one of our friends. Then I never heard from him again," his friend told Ahram Online.

"I was summoned by security officials after Regeni's disappearance. Their questions were focused on the purpose of his visit and studies. There were also some questions about his personal affiliation," he added.

Maha Mahfouz Abdel Rahman was his PhD supervisor in Cambridge, and Rabab El-Mahdi was his supervisor in Cairo. El-Mahdi said in a Facebook statement "I will not supervise foreign students anymore. I can't face his parents."

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04-02-2016 10:13pm
I think that during the January 25th Revolution, Giulio Regeni was beaten and stripped by Mubarak's "police." He got significantly injured. Then he got run over by a car in an accident. Correct me if I'm wrong, but this is what I think is how he died. May the Italian student rest in peace.
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04-02-2016 09:38pm
Egypt's military have little to fear from Italy !!
The Gaber Ibn Hayan former SSI facility in Giza has a long history as a torture centre, close to where the boys body was dumped and may well have been the location for the torture and killing of this young man.
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04-02-2016 09:09pm
A sad loss …
Condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Regeni for this terrible and sad loss. The Italian government and the international community should demand an independent and thorough investigation of what appears to be a typical police-state arrest and torture of innocent youth, akin of the thousands of forced disappearances and torture of innocent Egyptian youth all over the police-state. If proven to be a criminal foul play by the Egyptian police thugs, the international community should boycott doing any business with this police state until major democratic reforms are undertaken.
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Dida Halake
04-02-2016 06:08pm
Traffic Accident?
If so, Where was the body hiding itself before returning to the roadside to be noticed by drivers? Why the cigarette and beatings torture? Unfortunately points to police or security officers.
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04-02-2016 05:37pm
No criminal suspition??? Torture marks, cigarette burns and found half naked.... And they say it might have been a road accident??? Some things never change... May he rest in peace.
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