Egypt's Tourism Minister Hisham Zaazou described on Saturday the murder of Italian student Giulio Regeni as an "inhuman act" that "does not at all reflect the tolerant Egyptian character, which protects anyone who visits."
Attending a Catholic mass held in memory of the 28-year-old student at St Joseph Church in downtown Cairo, Zaazou said: "We are here to share grief with his family, friends, and the Italian people. We offer our sincere condolences for the loss of this young man, and we affirm that we will overcome this hardship."
"What had happened is not accepted at all… This has been an inhuman act that the Egyptian people do not accept at all."
Egypt has continuously rejected reports that the PhD student, who went missing on 25 January and whose body was subsequently found on a roadside in February bearing signs of torture, had been in custody before his death.
In earlier official statements, the Egyptian interior ministry described the reports as “completely false,” adding that a team of Egyptian investigators is in “complete cooperation” with the Italian authorities to determine the circumstances of the killing.
No culprits behind Regeni's murder have been identified, although the interior ministry has suggested that criminal activity or revenge for personal reasons may have been behind the murder.