Italy demanded investigation into the death of Giulio Regeni. The Cambridge student, who was missing since late last month, was found dead in a ditch. His body showed signs of torture and abuse.
After the body of Giulio Regeni, who disappeared in Cairo last week was found, Italy demanded Egypt to immediately authorize a joint investigation. Italy summoned Cairo’s envoy to express its “bewilderment over the tragic death” of Giulio Regeni. The 28-year-old Cambridge University PhD student had gone missing on January 25. His body was found in a roadside ditch in the suburbs outside Cairo on Wednesday night. Following Regeni’s disappearance, his home country’s government had conveyed Egypt about its growing concerns.
Giulio Regeni’s body was found along the Cairo-Alexandria Road in a suburb in western Cairo, reported Yahoo. An employee at Cairo’s central morgue confirmed that Regeni’s body was brought there. A roommate of the slain student identified the body, shared prosecutor Ahmed Nagi, who leads the investigation team on the case, who added that the cause of the death is still to be ascertained.
“The cause of death was still being investigated, but all of his body, including his face, had bruises, cuts from stabbings and burns from cigarettes. It appears to be a ‘slow death’. So far we are considering this to be a criminal act, but we are waiting for the forensic report and the police investigation to be complete.”
What makes the case of Giulio Regeni’s baffling is the fact that his body was naked from the waist down. Though the official report hasn’t been made public yet, those familiar with the incident indicated he might have been tortured before being killed. While the report from the forensics hasn’t been completely formulated, and the exact cause of the wounds is yet to be determined, a regional reporter shared the injuries resembled those inflicted by burning cigarettes. The burn marks were quite visible in Regeni’s body, near the eyes and on the feet.
Giulio Regeni hailed from Fiumicello, near Udine in Italy’s north-east. He had been a member of Girton College, Cambridge, but had been living in Cairo since September, reported the Guardian. Described as a bright and gifted student, Regeni was in Egypt to pursue a doctoral thesis on the Egyptian economy.
Regeni’s disappearance on January 25 remains a mystery, as well. This is because the date is quite important in Egypt. It was January 25, 2011, when Egypt witnessed an uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak. Since then, every year there are demonstrations, and there have been reports of sporadic vandalism as well. Hence, many suspected Regeni might have been picked up along with other young people by police who crack down on the demonstrators. Regional media reported he did step out from his home in an upper middle-class area, but he intended to meet a friend. The police confirmed they had no arrest records of Giulio Regeni.
While Egypt has already initiated an investigation into Giulio Regeni’s mysterious death, Rome has insisted that Cairo should allow for a joint effort. Italy’s Foreign Ministry confirmed they had summoned the Egyptian ambassador over the death of the Italian student and sought maximum cooperation in the investigation. Italy has demanded that Egypt return the body of Regeni as soon as possible.
Initial investigations had chalked up the death of Giulio Regeni as a road accident and the preliminary forensic report hadn’t mentioned any burns. This had caused panic among other students who believe Regeni was targeted for chasing sensitive topics.
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