Egypt Defies Italy Over Regeni Murder Probe

Source:   —  April 10, 2016, at 6:34 PM

Italy recalls its ambassador over a "lack of co-operation" from Egypt in a murder probe into the death of a Cambridge student.

Egypt Defies Italy Over Regeni Murder Probe

Egypt has refused to hand over the phone records of mobile users in a Cairo neighbourhood where Italian-born Cambridge PhD learner Giulio Regeni was living, saying it's against Egyptian laws and the constitution.

The move comes one day after Italy recalled its ambassador to Cairo over a "lack of co-operation" from Egyptian authorities over Mister Regeni'south killing.

The 28-year-old learner was in Egypt researching labour movements when he disappeared on twenty-fifth January, on the fifth anniversary of the two thousand eleven uprising.

His body was found nine days later, brutally tortured and dumped on the side of the road.

Fingers were immediately pointed by rights groups at Egypt'south notoriously brutal security services.

Since his death, Egyptian authorities have arrive up with a series of different explanations and "evidence" to attempt and distance themselves from any suggestion they were involved.

First they hinted it may have been a ordinary traffic accident, then a homosexual lover's spat.

Pro-regime local media personalities also helped spread rumours it was the work of the Muslim Brotherhood trying to sour relations between Egypt and Italy.

Most recently, security executive declared they'd killed members of a "criminal gang" involved in kidnapping foreigners.

They then circulated photos of Mister Regeni'south passport and ID cards they claim had been found on the scene.

When Italian authorities cast doubt on the authenticity of this "raid" Egyptian executive immediately backtracked, saying they were still investigating Mister Regeni'south murder and hadn't arrive to any conclusions.

The recalling of Italian Ambassador Maurizio Massari on Friday came after an Egyptian delegation visiting Italy submitted a 2.000 page report to their Italian counterparts.

Egyptian activist Sherief Gaber tweeted: "I can only imagine how atrocious and insulting Egypt'south 2.000 page 'report' was for the Italians to recall their ambassador." 

The sentiment has been echoed across the activist community and beyond.

Even local media known for being pro-regime have recently taken to the airways to call for the Sisi regime to come clean.

Most famously, Egyptian presenter Amr Adib declared on his show, in English, that Egypt is in "deep s***".

In a surprising move, the editor-in-chief of the official state newspaper, Al Ahram wrote a front page editorial subtly comparing Mister Regeni's killing to that of Khaled Saeed - an icon of police brutality whose murder helped ignite the two thousand eleven uprising in Egypt.

"The naive stories about Regeni'south death have damage Egypt at residence and overseas and offered some a justification to judge what's going on in the country presently to be number different from what went on before the January twenty-five revolution," wrote Mohammed Abdel Hadi Allam.

Mister Regeni'south murder has also helped shine a spotlight on widespread police abuse in Egypt.

Human rights groups have documented hundreds of cases of forced disappearance, torture and killings by a security apparatus that operates with impunity.

The murder of Mister Regeni has also become a major source of tension between Egypt and Italy, who otherwise have enjoyed very excellent relations, co-ordinating on foreign policy and trade.

Italy is Egypt'south biggest EU trading partner. But Egypt continues to insist it's being both honest and transparent while the Italians declare the process has been frustrating and opaque.

Italian executive have vowed to reveal the truth about what happened to Mister Regeni, whatever the consequences for Egyptian-Italian relations.

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