Friday, 19 February 2016
UPROAR has resulted following the torture and murder in Egypt of the 28-year-old doctoral student at Cambridge University, Giulio Regeni, who disappeared in Cairo on the 25th, January 2016, and whose half-naked, battered body was found in a ditch on February 3rd, hours after Italian officials appealed to President Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt directly for help in locating the student.
Italy's interior minister, Angelino Alfano, has said Mr. Regeni's body bore evidence of 'inhuman, animal-like unacceptable violence' - exactly the kind of torture the security forces regularly inflict on Egyptians. Though Egypt's authorities have denied their security forces were involved, the Italian press has not swallowed this and a headline in La Republica on Monday (8th, Feb. 2016) read: 'Giulio Regeni was tortured because they thought ha was a spy.'
Mr Regeni's dissertation research focused on trade unions, a tricky topic in Egypt, his friends say he was careful in how he carried out his investigations.
Last Friday the International New York Times ran an editorial which read:
'Under Mr. Sissi's government thousands of Egyptians have been imprisoned. Torture and enforced disappearance are commonplace. Academics, human rights activists and journalists have been singled out. Mr. Regeni's murder is sure to put a deep chill on academic freedom in Egypt.'
It is good that bodies like 'Labour Start' are monitoring these events.