By Oisin Sweeney • 10 December 2020 • 19:04
FOUR MEMBERS of Egypt’s National Security Agency have been charged with the brutal torture-murder of Italian student Giulio Regini in 2016.
The case marks a rare moment of accountability for Egypt’s powerful security forces, who analysts say run the North African state with brutality and impunity. In 2016 the body of Italian Ph.D. student Giulio Regini was discovered along a motorway just outside Cairo, with signs of torture consistent with the methods of Egyptian security.
The 28-year old’s body had been subjected to savage torture, including 12 bone fractures and multiple signs of assault with sticks and knives. He’d also been burned by cigarettes and died of a brain hemorrhage from his extensive injuries.
He had been studying trade unionism in Egypt, and the country’s security officials were quickly suspected of his grisly killing. In 2017 Italy severed most of its diplomatic ties with Egypt, who had been uncooperative in inquiries and quick to blame crime gangs and political dissidents with the researcher’s murder.
However, in June Italian PM Giussepe Conte organised a highly lucrative backdoor arms deal with Egypt that angered many, including Regini’s family. They said: ”Egypt should be designated an unsafe country and we should block the sales of all weapons” to the country.
It is unclear why Egyptian Security Forces would have targetted Regini, who was reportedly placed into a ”spiderweb” of surveillance during his studies in Cairo. Although Egypt has charged four security operatives with his torture-murder, a government spokesman described the crime as ”individual acts by them, with no connection to official institutions in Egypt.”
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Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...
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