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European Parliament urges Egypt to cooperate in probe into Giulio Regeni's murder

Ahram Online , Thursday 10 Mar 2016
Giulio Regeni
The Italian student Giulio Regeni (Photo Courtesy of Facebook)

The European Parliament has called on Egyptian authorities to provide Italy with all data necessary for ongoing investigations to unravel the mysterious murder of Italian student Giulio Regeni.

The body of the PhD student, who was living in Cairo and conducting research on Egyptian trade unions, was found by a highway on 3 February with signs of torture. The 28-year-old Regini had been reported missing since 25 January.

Italy's interior minister Angelino Alfano said that an autopsy conducted in Italy, which followed an initial post-mortem examination in Egypt, revealed that Regini was subject to "something inhuman, something animal."

Thursday's resolution by the European parliament called on Cairo to provide their Italian counterparts "with all the documents and information necessary to enable a swift, transparent and impartial joint investigation."

It also urged the Egyptian authorities "to bring the perpetrators of the crime to justice as soon as possible."

Final results of post-mortem examination carried out by Egypt and Italy have yet to be made public.

The resolution stated that Regeni's killing was not an isolated incident.

The case of Regeni "is not an isolated incident but occurred within a context of torture, death in custody and enforced disappearances across Egypt in recent years", MEPs said, according to a press release on the parliament's official website on Thursday.

"These are not allegations. All those violations are real. We're currently witnessing the worst era of human rights in Egypt," Kamal Abbas, a member of Egypt's semi-governmental National Council for Human Rights, told Ahram Online.

Egypt's foreign ministry spokesman was not immediately available to comment.

Egyptian officials have said that the ongoing investigation into Regeni’s death has indicated he was not detained by security forces.

Egyptian government officials have also repeatedly denied that there are any political detainees or any cases of forcible disappearances in Egypt's prisons.

The foreign and interior ministries have dismissed reports of torture by security forces as "isolated cases."

The vice-chair of the European Parliament's human rights subcommittee, Cristian Dan Preda, said earlier that Regeni's case "serves as a reminder of the fact that respect for human rights should be the basis of our relations with Egypt."

The European parliament also expressed its deep concern about what it considered "harassment" against the non-governmental Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms for its role in organising the ‘Stop Enforced Disappearance’ campaign in the country.
The parliament also expressed concern over a recent administrative order which closed El Nadeem Center for the Management and Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture.
The parliament had called last month on the Egyptian government to rescind its decision to shut-down El Nadeem.
The EU parliament resolution reminded member states that the EU's Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) had called in 2013 on members to "suspend export licences to Egypt of any equipment which might be used for internal repression and to reassess export licences of equipment covered by Common Position." That call for suspension on licences of such equipment was renewed by the FAC in February 2014, read the statement.
The EU parliament also urged Egypt's new House of Representatives to review the controversial protest law, as well as all other "repressive legislations adopted in violation of Egyptian constitution including the terrorism law and terrorist entities law."
Such laws, EU's parliament stated, "could be misused for internal repression rather than to improve collective security."
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