As members of the wider academic community of which Giulio Regeni was a part, we were deeply saddened to learn of his death (Italian student’s death in Cairo was ‘inhuman’, 8 February). Our community has been enriched by his presence. We are diminished by the loss of a young researcher whose work tackled questions that are vitally important to our understanding of contemporary Egyptian society. Our thoughts go out first of all to his family and friends at this acutely painful moment.
We are appalled to hear that there were extensive signs of torture. Those of us who knew of Giulio’s disappearance before the discovery of his body were desperately concerned for his safety because he vanished in the midst of a security campaign that has resulted in mass arbitrary arrests, a dramatic increase in reports of torture within police stations, and other cases of disappearances, according to local and international human rights organisations. While we welcome the Egyptian authorities’ statement that they will fully investigate Giulio’s death, we note that according to Amnesty International, bodies reporting to the Egyptian interior and defence ministries routinely practise the same kinds of torture that Giulio suffered against hundreds of Egyptian citizens each year.
We therefore call on the Egyptian authorities to cooperate with an independent and impartial investigation into all instances of forced disappearances, cases of torture and deaths in detention during January and February this year, alongside investigations by criminal prosecutors into Giulio’s death, in order that those responsible for these crimes can be identified and brought to justice.
source: The Guardian