GIOVENTU » 28 year old Italian Phd student dies in Cairo in mysterious circumstances

28 year old Italian Phd student dies in Cairo in mysterious circumstances

Giulio Regeni, 28-year-old Italian PhD student at Cambridge was found dead in Cairo.

Italian authorities demanded a full investigation into his death. His body bore signs that he had been tortured. The Cambridge student had disappeared on January 25 on the fifth anniversary of the beginning of Egypt’s revolution.

 

Regeni’s body was found on the Cairo-Alexandria desert road. The body appeared to have been dragged along the ground. There weren't any noticeable stab wounds, but there were some burns.

 

La Repubblica reported that, as well as being systematically beaten, Regeni had his finger and toenails pulled out, suggesting that his killers believed him to be a spy. An Italian autopsy concluded the cause of death was a violent blow at the base of his skull.

 

Regeni was in Cairo working on a doctoral thesis on Egyptian trade unions, a politically sensitive topic in Egypt. He was also writing, under a pseudonym, for the Left-wing Italian newspaper Il Manifesto, this might have been the reason for him to have been suspected of being a spy.

 

The first article published under his own name by il manifesto, after his death, criticised Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's authoritarian and repressive government.

 

Egypt denies allegations of police brutality even though Human rights organizations say police often detain Egyptians on scant evidence and beat or coerce them.

 

Researchers and students asked universities and governments to investigate into these kinds of incidents and to find and punish those responsible.

 

More than 4,600 academics have signed an open letter, initiated by Regeni's colleagues from the University of Cambridge, protesting against the death of Giulio Regeni and demanding an investigation into the growing number of mysterious disappearances in Egypt.

 

Regeni was given a funeral in his home town on Friday and Italy’s prime minister once again insisted that those responsible should be caught and punished.

 

Italy has sent investigators to work with Egyptian authorities to establish what really happened to Regeni.

Giulia Lombardo

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