October 26, 2016

Egypt says investigation into death of Italian suggests criminal act or revenge

Giulio Regeni

Egypt’s Interior Ministry said on Wednesday its investigation into the death of an Italian graduate student whose body turned up in a Cairo ditch showing signs of torture has yielded several possibilities including criminal or revenge motives.

Giulio Regeni, 28, had been researching independent trade unions in Egypt and written articles critical of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government – prompting speculation that he was killed in the hands of Egyptian security forces.

“The investigation leads to several possibilities including criminal activity or the desire for revenge due to personal reasons especially as the Italian had many relationships with people near where he lives and where he studied,” the ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency MENA.

The statement did not mention the involvement of security forces as a possibility, as many Egyptian, Italian and international media have speculated.

Egypt’s interior and foreign ministers have both dismissed the notion of security forces being behind Regeni’s murder. Human rights groups accuse Egypt’s Interior Ministry of widespread abuses, allegations it denies.

A senior source at Egypt’s forensics authority told Reuters that Regeni, a graduate student at Britain’s Cambridge University, had seven broken ribs, signs of electrocution on his penis, traumatic injuries all over his body, and a brain hemorrhage.

A second autopsy in Italy “confronted us with something inhuman, something animal”, Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano told Sky News 24 television.

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