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US State Dept: Questions over Regeni's death can only be answered by 'transparent inquiry'

The Egyptian authorities have been conducting an investigation into the murder of the Italian student, but have been unable so far to identify the perpetrators

Ahram Online , Friday 22 Apr 2016
John Kirby
John Kirby (Photo:Reuters)
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A US State Department spokesman said that questions over the death of Italian Giulio Regeni in Egypt could only be answered "through an impartial and a comprehensive inquiry."

At a press briefing on Thursday, reporters asked spokesman John Kirby if he had information on whether or not the 28-year-old student – whose dead body was discovered in a ditch on the outskirts of Cairo in February showing signs of extensive torture- had been held by Egyptian police forces in custody prior to his death, as a recent media report has alleged.

However, the US state department spokesperson said he was “not in a position to confirm” the story.

The reporters were referring to a Reuters story published quoting anonymous police and intelligence sources stating that Regeni had been detained by police on the 25 January at a police station, and held for thirty minutes before being transferred to the headquarters of the Ministry of Interior in downtown Cairo.

Kirby said that the US believes questions raised about the circumstances of Regeni’s death “can only be answered through an impartial and a comprehensive inquiry.”

“We continue to call on the Government of Egypt to ensure that the investigation is conducted in a full and transparent manner and to fully collaborate with the Italian officials who we know are part of that investigation,” he added.

He has also highlighted that Secretary of State John Kerry had raised concerns over human rights issues during his latest meeting with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry in Cairo on Wednesday.

On Thursday, Egypt’s interior ministry released a statement that denied the allegations in the Reuters report.

Egyptian authorities have repeatedly  denied  accusations that the security forces were involved in the death of the PhD student, who went missing on 25 January.

The Egyptian authorities have been conducting an investigation into the murder of the Italian student, but no suspects have yet been charged. Italy earlier this month withdrew its ambassador from Cairo after Egyptian investigators declined to share evidence, including call logs, they deemed relevant to the case. Egyptian investigators said the request for call logs of mobile subscribers in geographical areas related to the Regeni case was "unconstitutional" and "illegal."

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