Previously and almost on a weekly basis, I wrote about developments in the Regeni case. I had initially stated on Twitter that I would make no hurried judgements until further information was available, even though the torture that followed the discovery of his body had all the hallmarks of Egyptian police torture and the lies raised much doubt about the case. Now I break that silence not because of certainty as to what happened, but because what is happening, even if by any stretch of the imagination is the truth, it has been completely botched: here are the details of how the case developed from the day it was first announced that his body was found in a ditch until today, March 24th with the Ministry of Interior’s stunningly naive narrative – in chronological order. Further updates on the case will be added to this page as they come.
Background: On Jan 24, one day before the January 25, 2016 anniversary, Italian student Guilio Regeni disappeared in Egypt. According to his friends, he received a phone call and left his apartment never to be seen again. Regeni was studying for his degree at Cambridge University and had been doing research on labor unions in Egypt, a very sensitive topic to the Egyptian regime. He had been attending meetings with labor unions and had a network of friends many of whom were involved in activism in one way or the other.
- Feb 2: The Egyptian Foreign Ministry stated: “There is no indication that Regeni was kidnapped.“
Feb 7: Death of Italian student Giulio Regeni who was found almost nude and with clear torture marks on his body, including cigarette burns. The Ministry of the Interior initially stated that the death was a car accident [Feb 4], but retracted when Italy insisted on a full investigation into the case. Italian economic group visiting Cairo headed by Fredrica Guidi,
the Italian minister of economic development left Egypt abruptly before meetings with the government after discovery of the student’s body, and the Egyptian ambassador was summoned in Italy. It should be noted that Regini wrote articles for an Egyptian leftist newspaper.Reginie’s body was flown to Italy where a new autopsy will be conducted on his body. The initial announcement by the MOI that he was killed in a road accident raised suspicion about Regini’s death, however nothing is confirmed.
Flowers and candles for the memory of
#GiulioRegeni at the door of the Italian embassy in Cairo
- Feb 20: News circulated that there is ‘evidence’ that Ikhwan were responsible for the death of student Giulio Regini. The source of the news is an online newspaper called 24, issued by the United Emirates and belonging to Etisalat. It stated that an Italian newspaper La Stampa said that Ikhwan were responsible. The article is used by pro-Sisi people to shift the blame on Ikhwan.لاستامبا الإيطالية: دلائل على تورط “أجهزة” الإخوان في تصفية الطالب الإيطالي
ِAl Wafd newspaper and others stated that investigation into the case show that ‘foreign intelligence’ was involved in his murder.
- Feb 21: In a blow to the Egyptian government, massacred student Giulio Regeni’s name was given to the Egyptian section of the Museum of Turin. Associated Press stated that the Italian ambassador to Egypt had asked to meet with the Egyptian minister of interior hours after Regeni’s disappearance, but the latter declined. The senior officer investigating Giulio Regeni death was previously convicted of torture and murder. It should be noted that Regeni was studying labor and labor unions in Egypt. Italian media is already pointing fingers at Egyptian security.
Feb 15: AFP says – based on local media reports – that Italian newspapers say “the Italian team in Cairo have questioned an Egyptian national who has testified that he saw a foreigner being bundled into a police van close to Regeni’s house around the time he disappeared on January 25.” Following Regeni’s funeral, the Italian prime minister also told Egypt that there will be no ‘friendship between us until the truth is revealed.” The Independent stated that a reliable eyewitness told the Italian investigators that he saw a foreigner being dragged into a police van and that he gave them some very credible information. In addition, “it emerged that the young Italian noticed that he was being photographed by an unknown observer at a political dissidents’ meeting he attended on 11 December.” [another link on the topic]
The most damning evidence yet is that according to the NYTimes “Three security officials said Mr. Regeni had indeed been taken into custody, bolstering Italian suspicions of an official hand in his death.” There are surveillance camera videos outside several stores that Regeni passed, but Egyptian investigators have not requested them. Also even more damning evidence surfaced: “Three Egyptian security officials who said they had inquired about the case said that Mr. Regeni had been taken into custody by the authorities because he had been impertinent with the officers. “He was very rude and acted like a tough guy,” one of the officials said.” They were interviewed separately and stated that they thought he was a spy.
Italy also threatened Egypt: either capture Regeni’s murderers or they will cancel billions of dollars worth of oil agreements. [Video by TV host Hosseini explaining timeline of Regini from his disappearance to the statements issued].
- March 4: Italian newspapers attack the Ministry of Interior’s statement regarding the death of student Giulio Regeni. They said it was shameful and the torture on his body carry all signs of state torture. [From al Shorouk]. The ministry’s statement may be found here. In addition, Italian newspapers and Reuters said that two prosecution sources allegedly stated to Reuters Guilio was interrogated and tortured for 7 days before his death in a manner consistent with Egypt’s torture methods. Again Egypt denied this.
- March 9: EU parliament discussed the case of Guilio Regeni. Egypt says it gave them documented information.
- March 13: The most important news in Egypt this week was the EU’s resolutions for sanctions against Egypt not only because of murdered student Regeni but also because of its human rights record [text of the strongly-worded resolution and text of the joint motion of the resolution]: Egypt said it will respond to the unfair resolution which stated that Egypt had ‘forced disappearances and torture’. Egypt said it absolutely has no torture in prisons. It will provide an official response to the EU.
Minister of Foreign Affairs stated in a March 11th press conference that the EU parliament relied upon rumors and general allegations that have no reality on the ground in Egypt. He stated that putting the Regeni case among human rights violations in Egypt is a premature matter and is unfair because investigations have not been completed and Egypt has cooperated fully with Italian investigators. The Minister also stated that the cases of ‘forced disappearances’ have almost all been solved and that the EU should not have relied upon undocumented rumors.
Additionally, Amr Helmy, Egyptian ambassador to Italy, invited the Italian prosecutor general to come himself to Cairo for a meeting with officials to receive information on the most recent investigations in the matter.
It should be noted that according to economists, the amount of trade exchange between Egypt and the EU is approximately $28 billion. Trade exchange between Egypt and the European Union increased by 10% by the end of 2015 compared to the previous year, with trade exchange amounted to 2014, $25.5 billion. The exchange has seen an increase of 8% during the current year, and the total volume of trade between Egypt and the European Union is 40% of the total volume of Egyptian trade exchange in the world. Egypt therefore has a vested interest in maintaining relations with the EU. Ultimately therefore, Europe will not really sanction Egypt, but has stopped, as per the non-binding resolution, to give Egypt surveillance equipment or military equipment.
Meanwhile the Egyptian parliament – as is expected – announced in a statement that they “reject foreign intervention in human rights matters in Egypt” claiming that it is being ‘politicized.’ Outraged parliamentarians made comments such as ‘we must organize an ‘international press conference’ and discuss the matter’ while another said he was ‘documenting human rights violations in Europe.”
- Following the EU resolution, Egyptian media said the European parliament was infiltrated by Ikhwan and that they were paid by them to embarrass Egypt and take a strong position against it.
- Egypt said that the cameras outside the Italian embassy show student Guilio Regeni fighting with another Italian student. They also said that Regeni’s friends all disappeared and traveled to Italy 48 hours after the discovery of Regeni’s body, and that the authorities did not have time to interrogate them. Egyptians also now say that an Egyptian student named Adel Moawad, had disappeared in Italy and was never found and are asking the Italian authorities to find him. No one knows when the case of that Egyptian was but it is quite obvious why they are bringing up his story now.
- March 13: Tv host asks her guest ‘just for the way we look in front of the international public opinion.. can you tell us why the investigation results are late?’ He hesitated, laughed nervously and said ‘actually… we just… we can’t find a scapegoat’. She did not know what to do and began laughing too.
- March 14: Speculation in pro-government media suggested that Regeni was gay – hence his illicit affairs may have resulted in his death. Pro-government journalist Mohamed Al Baz said that Regeni was killed in an ‘honor’ case – and that he was gay. He stated that security apparatus has this information but does not want to reveal it. He added that there were telephone calls and discussions between Regeni and 3 girls but security apparatus does not want to reveal them.
- March 16: President Sisi, in an interview with an Italian newspaper La Repubblica, suggested that it was his political enemies who killed Regeni. Sisi said he understood the Italian’s “pain, bitterness and shock” – and said specialised investigative working groups had been formed to “uncover the real causes behind the incident”. He also promised Regeni’s family, ‘as a father’ himself, that he would find his killers.“I reiterate once more our sincere keenness to intensify cooperation with Italian authorities to resolve any ambiguity related to this painful incident and bring their perpetrators to justice,” Sisi said.
- March 17: Minister of Justice was dismissed. Some claimed – among them Al Feki – that the real reason for his removal was non other than in that same interview, he spoke about Regeni, the Italian student murdered in Cairo, and acknowledged in no uncertain terms that the regime was responsible. He said that they took the Italian delegation to the Zeynhom mortuary – then made the comment that ‘and you and I know know what happened to him [Regeni] but we don’t want to say so as not to make people gloat…’ then continued his talk. الامر علي نحو ماتعرف واعرف انا ومش عايزني نقول
- March 18: The prosecution in the Regeni case said that the witness Mohammed Fawzi who had claimed he saw Regeni fighting with another Italian man in front of the Italian Embassy shortly before his death, is a liar. The witness’s telephone did not ping anywhere near the Embassy and Embassy surveillance videos did not capture any such thing outside its embassy. The witness apologized and said maybe he did not see him that day and maybe it was a different day.In addition, an eyewitness alleged to another newspaper that that witness who was interviewed by TV host Mousa after making claims that he saw Regeni in a fight, had arrived at the television studio in a ministry of interior car accompanied by Mousa.After the prosecution dismissed his testimony, the witness stated to the media that he just ‘wanted to help Egypt.’
March 19: Rose Al Yousef magazine stated that the last call that Regeni made was to his mother on Skype and that he told her he was going to meet ‘an Ikhwan personality’. This, they stated, is according to what Regeni’s mother told Italian investigators.
March 23:: Cover of the Italian newspaper, Internationale, shows President Sisi with the comment: Fierce dictator, mediocre leader.
- March 24: Min of Interior issued a statement March 24th, saying that a gang “specialized in kidnapping foreigners” has been killed in exchange of fire. No further details were given. When people on social media assumed this was an excuse for the Regeni case, the spokesperson for the ministry stated that the ministry never mentioned Regeni in this matter and that it is responsible for its own statements and not for people’s speculations.
By the evening of that day the Ministry of Interior announced that they found Regeni’s belongings and papers in the home of one of the murdered gang members. Those included his passport, his Cambridge Univ id, his credit cards and other stuff such as 15 gms of hash and three female sunglasses as well as LE5000. The also said that this gang ‘wore police clothes’ and kidnapped people. A more detailed statement was issued later.
This naturally raises more questions than answers: why did the ministry of interior murder this ‘gang’ if they knew they were their ticket to convincing the world that Egypt did not commit this atrocity? Why would the Egyptian government murder 5 ‘gang’ members? Since this is a gang that ‘specialized in kidnapping foreigners’ – who else did it kidnap and how did we not hear about this gang before? Why did they torture Regeni? What did they gain especially if there was no ransom request for example? Why did they keep his stuff intact instead of getting rid of it with his body? Why did they keep the alleged stolen money in Regeni’s bag? Normally those who mug or steal do not suddenly change into torturers or even murderers.. so why did they suddenly decide to murder Regeni?
Final note: Italy knew – so did the EU and the US that there is and always has been torture in Egyptian prisons. In fact, Italy was one of the countries that ‘renditioned’ terrorists to Egypt for the purpose of not getting their own hands dirty and letting the Egyptian regime do the work for them since there is no serious oversight. In my view, it is for this reason that Italy felt so offended and immediately pointed fingers at the Egyptian government, even saying at one point that the method had the hallmarks of Egyptian torture. While Regeni is a victim in this case, perhaps Europe needs to rethink its relationship with Egypt in terms of turning a blind eye to abuses and indeed providing some of the technologies and training that enable such torture.
Updates on the story:
Update March 25:
Italian Senate foreign committee chair Pier Ferdinando Casini said the Egyptian statement left him “very perplexed. We are waiting to get more detailed information from Egyptian authorities.” L’espresso and other media said they were angry at the results while the officials expressed scepticism but are holding back their official announcements.
Sources in the Egyptian Ministry of Interior told a newspaper that ‘finding Regeni’s belongings with the gang does not mean they killed him,’ and that the ministry will be issuing another statement with updates on the matter. This was said although the first statement said that this concludes the case, and thanked the ‘Italian counterparts for their cooperation.’
Regeni’s family commented that the story was hard to believe. An Italian newspaper, Corriere della Sera, said “We hope that the Egyptian government has a minimum of respect for our country and our intelligence and not insist on selling us this version of Regeni crime.”
The former Italian prime minister commented on Twitter: “I’m sorry but I don’t buy it.” Meanwhile Italians on Twitter began the hashtag
#noncicredo [I don’t believe].
Meanwhile, Egyptian Parliamentarians hurried to thank the ministry of interior and the police for their ‘exquisite efforts’ in finding Regeni’s killers. One even stated that this find has ‘shut the mouths of the Europeans’ and that they now need to pursue and arrest the Egyptian inciters who doubted the stories all along. An alleged human rights activist said the EU should apologize to Egypt for their previous accusations.
After the repeated blunders, the Ministry of Interior stated that Egyptian authorities are still investigating Regeni’s murder. Meanwhile Al Youm Al Sabeaa newspaper said that seven Italian generals left Egypt after the ‘end of the Regini case’ and that they thanked Egyptian police for their efforts. The newspaper also said that there are ‘invisible hands planning to strike Egypt’s economy by creating rifts between Egypt and the rest of the world’. Sources at the Ministry of Interior continued to speak to journalists and one unnamed source stated that finding Regeni’s belongings did not mean finding Regeni’s murderers. However newspapers published that
” The sister and the wife of the alleged kidnap gang leader said Regeni was killed while resisting a robbery, Egyptian national prosecution sources told ANSA on Friday. The two women named as sister Rasha Saad Abdel Fatah and wife Mabrouka Ahmed Afifi “confirmed the suspect committed the act in order to rob (Regeni), not kill him,” the sources said. “The victim resisted, which prompted the accused and his fellows to attack him, causing his death”.
Meanwhile, the families of the alleged gang that was killed went to the morgue and nearly caused a riot as they tried to storm the morgue.
To cap off the night, the deputy to the minister of interior, General Khaled Abu Bakr Abdel Kareem, appeared on a TV show with host Khairy Ramadan and made some rather incriminating statements. He narrated the ‘alleged’ story of the gang, claiming that they kidnapped ‘the Italian’ and told him they were ‘terrorists’ and took him to a bank where they forced him to withdraw $10,000. The host responded ‘how did they speak to him? in what language?’ and then later asked him ‘if the gang took him to a bank and of course he cannot withdraw that amount from an ATM machine, then he must have walked into the bank. Why didn’t he call for help?’ The general did not respond. He did not say whether the bank had any cameras – which they do – that showed ‘the Italian’ going in or out of the bank.
The Italian Minister of International Cooperation Paolo Gentiloni tweeted: ‘#Regeni Italy insists: we want to know the truth’.
- Regeni’s family’s lawyer said that the the Egyptian story is “slanderous and false and is an insult not only to the family but also to every Italian.”
- Regeni’s family say they feel disappointed and bitter about the recent Egyptian story regarding their son: ““We are hurt and saddened by yet another attempt of the Egyptian authorities to mislead us“. The government responded “Egypt is telling the truth.”
The Italian prosecutor Giuseppe Pignatone said he “considers that the information so far provided to us by the Egyptian Prosecutor to the Italian investigators team present in Cairo would not serve to clarify the death of Julius Regeni and to identify those responsible for the murder.”
- Regeni’s family said: “[We are] wounded and embittered by the umpteenth attempt at a cover-up on the part of the Egyptian authorities,” the family told Italian news agency Ansa. [We are] certain of the firmness with which our government will react to this outrageous set-up – Regeni’s parents went on “we are certain of the firmness with which our government will react to this outrageous set-up which, furthermore, cost the lives of five people”.
Update March 26:
- Egyptian media – including those who are pro-regime – have slammed the ministry of interior’s story as pure fabrication. They said the story was unconvincing and that no one believes it and that Egyptians are making fun of it.
- Deputy to the minister of interior, General Khaled Abu Bakr Abdel Kareem, who had narrated yesterday the story of ‘the Italian’ being led to a bank to withdraw money by the gang – clarified today in another TV interivew: “we never ever said the gang that kidnaps foreigners killed Regeni. Ever.” It seems that there is another Italian – who is mentioned in the ministry’s statement – who was the one kidnapped by that gang and not Regeni.
- Italian authorities have long complained about a lack of transparency from Cairo in the investigation. [BBC]
Update March 27:
- Italy confirms that the Egyptians ‘changed and retracted their position’ regarding Regeni. The Italian minister of the interior Angelino Alfano stated that the Egyptians retracted their story after Italy’s insistence they wanted the truth, and the investigation has been extended not closed. He told Corriera della Sella that the Egyptians had to retract within hours because of their insistence, and said there is a necessity to participate in every and direct step of the investigation.
- Media: pro government media has been slamming the government and the ministry of the interior for its rush to judgement in the Regeni case. On the other hand, some, such as TV host Osama Kamal told MOI that they needed a better story even though he believed them while another stated that he supported the government whether it was right or wrong.
- The Egyptian Ministry of Interior equivocally denied claims that its deputy published anything regarding the murder of Regeni. The Minister himself added that the “Regeni case is very difficult due to ‘hostile’ media campaigns.”
Update March 28:
- Among the alleged gang members there was the body of tourism student Ibrahim Farouk. His uncle told a TV show that his nephew drove his father-in-law’s micro-bus as a job to make money, and that he was arrested from his home by security forces at 6 am but was killed at 11. They were not informed of his death until 1am the following morning. Besides not having a criminal record, Farouk was planning to get married in June. Farouk’s autopsy revealed that the suspects were shot at short range – two meters – which does not indicate an exchange of fire contrary to MOI’s statement.
Update March 29:
- Regeni’s family threatening in a press conference that they will show the pictures of Regeni’s tortured body if his killers are not revealed. Giulio’s mother, Paola Regeni, said she might release a photograph of her son’s body to show the world what had happened to him in Egypt if his murderers were not revealed.””I only recognised him because of the tip of his nose. As for everything else, it was no longer him,” she said in the first news conference the family has given since Giulio’s battered body was found in a roadside ditch on Feb. 3.”
- Egypt Orders a New Team to Investigate the Death of Italian Student Giulio Regeni.
- New investigation team formed by Egypt’s prosecutor general to probe Regeni murder
Update March 31:
- Regeni’s mother’s speech before the Italian parliament with Arabic translation.
- Italy’s parliament is joining in solidarity with Regeni’s family and is asking for the Italian ambassador to Egypt to be recalled.
Update April 1:
- Egypt is preparing a team to travel to Italy to speak with the Italian authorities about the entire Regeni file. The team which includes security people, forensics experts, homicide experts etc. are bringing an exhaustive file on Regeni that includes documents regarding the gang that was murdered and his belongings found with them, the large network of friends and acquaintances that Regeni knew, his telephone and email lists etc. The team is planning to address the state of Regeni’s body especially after his mother’s threats to publish the pictures.
- Ansa news stated that “Egyptian authorities are set to admit at a keenly awaited Rome meeting on Giulio Regeni that they kept tabs on the Cambridge University researcher before he was tortured and murdered, Egyptian media said on Friday. At that ‘summit’ on Tuesday, Rome prosecutors will ask for the phone and cellphone records of 10 of Regeni’s friends and acquaintances to help reconstruct his last days, judicial sources said in Rome.”
Update April 2:
Fingers are now pointing to chief of Giza Police, Khaled Shalabi, as a possible suspect in the murder of Regeni. Shalabi drew attention in the Italian media in the initial stages of the investigation because: 1- he was the one who had announced immediately following the discovery of Regeni’s body that it was a ‘car accident’ and that there were no indications it was a homicide; 2- because he was implicated in many torture cases before and their cover up, and was even convicted for one in 2000 in case number 67909. This was also pointed out in TV host’s Al Hosseini’s program. However sceptics say that perhaps the government will use Shalabi as a scapegoat instead of really exposing the true killers – who, as many suspect, are national or state secuirty.
- An Egyptian newspaper, Al Badil, reported that Italian private tourism companies stopped their activities to Egypt because the Regeni case has not yet been resolved.
Update April 3rd:
- As Italy steps up pressure on Egypt, Egyptian police arrested yet another gang in Heliopolis who had fake ids and allegedly pretended to be officers. The police said they are investigating whether they had any contacts with the ‘other gang’ that was murdered and which had Regeni’s belongings. They are also investigating whether this gang had anything to do with Regeni’s death.
- Italy’s Correira della Sala wrote a rather exhaustive article on the cases of disappearances in Egypt, noting that Regeni is not the first nor last.
Update April 4:
- Head of Rose Al Yousef magazine in DC, wrote a plea to the Egyptian government to finally admit their responsibility in the murder of Regeni. She said that the committee traveling to Italy will be faced with several unpleasant surprises, among them that the Italians have incriminating recordings between officers through a third party, and that they know exactly who the murderer is.
- Meanwhile, Egypt postponed Italy meeting as criticism mounts.
Update April 5:
- Italian newspaper La Stampa said that Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shukri, told John Kerry in his recent meeting with him that Regeni died because he was gay and was tortured at a sado-masochistic party with his friends.
- Egyptian newspaper Al Tahrir says Italian prosecutor demanded to meet 8 people including the sister of one of the gang members who were shot dead by Egyptian police.
- Italian newspaper La Republica has published former police officer and fugitive Omar Afifi’s Facebook statements regarding the death of Regeni. Afifi alleges that he has insider knowledge – as he always says he does – that Regeni refuse to talk without his lawyers following his arrest, which made the police take him to National Security headquarters and to Military Intelligence where he was tortured to death. The Italian newspaper says that the witness accounts coincide with what only Italian intelligence know happened. It should be noted that Afifi is not a very reliable source.
- Italian foreign minister Paolo Gentilioni said that Italy will take “speedy and appropriate” measures against Egypt if Egypt does not take the investigation seriously. Foreign Minister Shukri declined to comment.
- In his meeting with NATO representatives in Egypt, President Sisi presented his apologies to the Italian people on both the official level and the level of the Egyptian people who are upset at Regeni’s murder. He also stated that he believes that the traditional and historic cooperation with Italy will help us all overcome this tragedy. Then he stated that he is also sure of Italy’s cooperation in the disappearance of Egyptian student Moawad in Italy since October 2015. Of course Moawad’s story was never brought up before except after Italy pressured Egypt about Regeni.
- Al Youm Al Sabea newspaper announced that a delegation made up of prosecutors has flown to Italy today to meet with Italian prosecutors.
- Head of the Egyptian community in Italy, George Kelada, said that the Italians have recordings and video tapes of what happened to Regeni and are waiting for the Egyptian delegation to arrive to embarrass them if they do not reveal the whole truth.
- The family of the ‘gang of 5’ spoke out
Update April 8:
When Egypt killed the gang of 5, it claimed that one of its victims was another Italian named David. The Italians decided to investigate who that Italian was. It turns out, according to Ansa, that it was an Italian musician and photographer who was arrested in Sharm Al Sheikh for going to the airport and photographing policemen on duty during the crash of the Russian airplane. He was eventually made to sign a paper in Arabic before his release. To prove to the security men who arrested him that he was a musician, he was told to play some music and he sat and played Bob Marley’s The Three Little Birds on his guitar!! [story in Arabic]
- Full interview with the head of the Egyptian community in Italy, George Kelada, with Nader Shukri.
- In a press conference in Italy, the Italians showed a video in which Sisi stated that ‘if anyone is killed by police they will not be punished.’ One of the prosecutors standing by smiled and said ‘he meant Egyptians only’ !!!
- Egyptians made a hashtag on twitter ‘the right of the 5 before Regeni’
- An Italian newspaper said that the Egyptian delegation to meet with the Italian prosecutors has 4 officers and 3 prosecutors.
- Dot Misr newspaper made an interview with the families of the 5 alleged gang members who were murdered by police in the Regeni case.
- ANSA: “Italian judicial sources said that the 2,000-page dossier the Egyptian delegation has brought on the case is “still incomplete” and lacks fundamental elements that Italy has been asking for over a month. Rome has complained about a lack of cooperation from Cairo in getting to the bottom of the case and has threatened consequences if there is no progress.”
- Italy recalled its ambassador to Egypt for ‘consultation.’ Meanwhile, the Italian authorities announced they will stop cooperation with the Egyptian delegation which is currently in Rome.
- Head of the human rights committee in the Italian parliament says Egypt lied to us and tried to fool us and insulted our intelligence with that 2000 page report.
- The families of the gang which was killed allegedly because of their involvement in the Regeni case, are being harassed by the State. One was called to State Security for interrogation, and the two sons of another were arrested, and their whereabouts are unknown.
Update April 9th:
- Italian newspaper on recalling the Italian ambassador: “Can we please have our ambassador back, alive?”
- Italian newspapers say that the report given by the Egyptians was only 30 pages long, was false and a hoax. The Egyptians invoked the Constitution and refused to give them the phone calls that were made by and to Regeni before his disappearance because of ‘privacy’ issues.
Update April 13th:
- In his speech today, President Sisi stated that allegations that security forces were involved in Italian student’s killing are putting country at risk.
- The British foreign ministry is now supporting Italy in its quest for the search for Regeni’s killers.
- The Italians are planning to raise the Regeni flags during a soccer match in which Egyptian soccer player Ahmed Salah will be playing.
- Italy has officially asked Egypt for the investigation files of the 5 alleged gang members with whom Regeni’s belongings were found.
- Egypt said it will work on a double-pronged strategy regarding the Italy crisis: a carrot and a stick type of strategy – whereby it will officially object to Italy’s one-sided announcements following the return of its delegation, while at the same time giving Italy some economic advantages and facilitation.
Update April 14th:
- A parliamentary delegation that went to Strasburg to discuss Regeni and other human rights issues with members of the EU is returning to Cairo tonight. Their spokesperson said they consider the meeting a success in building trust between the two countries. He said they spoke with transparency regarding the information they had on Regeni and other human rights matters that the EU had questions about.
- Sources tell Al Tahrir newspaper that the Egyptian prosecutor says they have reached some new and important information regarding the murder of Regeni. No further information was provided as to the nature of that information.
Even though the Egyptian parliamentary delegation said the meeting was a ‘success’, EU parliament members stood outside the EU holding banners demanding the truth about Regeni.
Update April 15th:
- Al Shorouk news published today the events that took place during the meeting of the Egyptian parliamentary delegation with the EU parliament members. The Egyptian delegation arrived 15 minutes late and according to EU sources they did not respond to any issues concerning torture, forced disappearances or any other. The Egyptian ambassador attended all the meetings. Egyptian delegation said that democratic transformation will take 10-15 years and that the priority now is security.
Update April 21:
- Arabic newspaper published an article from La Stampa saying that the Italian PM said that the Egyptian authorities were not responsible for Regeni’s death.
- Reuters said that 6 different officers told them that Regeni was in police custody the day he disappeared. Three Egyptian intelligence officials and three police sources independently told Reuters the police had custody of Regeni at some point before he died. The report said that he was taken to Azbakeya police station and from there to national security. This made the Egyptian government livid and they said they reserve the right to sue Reuters for defamation.
- Martin Shulz, head of the EU parliament, said Egypt failed to explain the death of Regeni and that the EU stands by Italy in its quest for the truth:
“The European Parliament has already expressed itself on this issue, demanding that the Egyptian authorities show transparency and collaborate with the Italian authorities on this issue. They have failed the test so far. The European Union and the European Parliament will continue to be vigilant on this. And I would like to say this clearly: Giulio Regeni was an Italian citizen, but he was also a European citizen. And the European Union stands behind Italy in its search for truth. I also join the call asking for “Truth for Giulio Regeni”.Whoever perpetrated Giulio Regeni’s killing and torture stood at the opposite end of where Giulio Regeni stood: obscurantism, ignorance and opposition to any form of dialogue.”
- Azbakeya police chief filed a complaint against Michael Gorgi, chief of Reuters Cairo office, for ‘inciting against Egypt.’
Update April 23
- The ministry of the interior said the complaint against Reuters is ‘personal’ and that they as an entity did not file any lawsuits.
- Italy will continue inquiring into Italian researcher Giulio Regeni’s murder, Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni said, according to the Italian news agency ANSA. “If someone thinks that we will stop demanding the truth in the Regeni murder with the passing of time, they are wrong,” Gentiloni said on Friday in response to questions about a Reuters citing anonymous police sources that confirmed Regeni was detained by Egyptian police prior to his death.
- TV presenter Rania Mahmoued Yassine attacked Italy for ‘talking too much about the Regeni case’ and insulted him and his family saying “We’re tired of hearing about that, let him go to hell”. After the matter made international news, she retracted her statement and said she did not mean to insult them.
- Reuters said they stand by their story and the responses they received from six police and security people. Michael Gorgi, Reuters bureau chief has traveled for work and was not accessible, although he allegedly ‘escaped’ to Switzerland.
- Regeni’s parents expressed solidarity with Egyptian activists who were arrested on April 25 for rejecting the demarcation agreement.
- The family of the 5 alleged gang members who were killed and accused of the Regeni murder spoke to CNN in a very telling news piece.
Update April 27:
- Regeni family hired this Egyptian NGO to get their son’s case’s file but the Egyptian authorities arrested its chief on terrorism charges.
- UK urges Egypt to consider security agencies as responsible for Regeni’s murder.
- I have no idea what the reason for this tweet was, tv host and parliamentarian Mostafa Bakri tweeted: ‘Regeni’s mother: where is the shame on your face… their hatred of Egypt is beyond explanation but Egypt is stronger than them and their masters and will certainly win with the leadership of its heroic son, Sisi. This was most likely because the family expressed solidarity with the demonstrators on land day.
Update May 4th:
- Italy says that the Egyptians sent them 13 telephone calls of Egyptian citizens involved in the Regeni case and that this is an important development but that it is a small portion of what they asked for. They also said they are looking into the probability of hacking Regeni’s email. There is a new meeting between the Egyptian and the Italian interrogators soon.
Update May 5th:
- After the Italian Foreign Minister criticized Egypt in the case of Regini, Egypt’s foreign minister stated: “his tone worries me and it does not reflect the interests of the two countries.”
- An Italian delegation arrived in Cairo to get the documents they were promised by the Egyptian interrogators.
Update May 9th:
Update May 10th:
- Ansa news agency stated that the Italian delegration which arrived in Cairo did not get the documents they were promised which included eye witness reports from the investigations.
- Graffiti in Berlin by someone called Al Teneen shows Regeni with the words ‘They killed him like an Egyptian.’
Update May 22:
- Sisi is at war with Egyptians!
Caso Regeni, l’Egitto di al Sisi in guerra contro i suoi cittadini
Update June 12:
- Italian newspaper: Italian government said that all the investigation papers presented to Italy regarding the gang of 5 [that was shot and killed by Egyptian police] including the interrogations, and others are fake.
Update June 17:
Regeni’s parents call for EU sanctions on Egypt
- Italy withholds ambassador from
#Egypt over Regeni case
- An Italian delegation visited Cambridge University where Regeni was studying and the British allegedly refused to cooperate with investigators.
Update June 30:
- Egypt expresses ‘discomfort’ over Italy halting warplanes supplies in response to Regeni caseز
Update July 2nd:
- TV host and parliamentarian Mostafa Bakri said that if the police had killed Regeni his body would have never been found – we have advanced methods such as hiding his body in cement. Police will not cause a scandal for themselves.
Update July 6th:
- Italian Ministry of Development will consider withdrawal of the authorization for the sale of spy software to Egypt
- Italian parliament also voted against sending any more F16 spare parts to Egypt. Egypt condemned the decision and stated that it was a grave mistake. It said that Italy ‘politicized’ the Regeni murder. It even ‘threatened’ to stop cooperation on terrorism, and threatened to ignore the illegal migration to Italy which it had been curbing.
Update July 11:
- An Italian MP stated that Italian senate’s decision on Egypt regarding the F16 space parts is ‘dangerous and irresponsible’ because it threatens the fight against terrorism.
Update July 30th:
Regeni followed by 5 police officers before disappearance : Italian TV channel
- The Daily Telegraph also stated that Regeni was followed before his disappearance.
Update September 8th and 9th:
- Regeni had mysterious ‘letters’ carved into his body by torturers in Egypt, post-mortem reveals. Italian authorities have found that not only was he sadistically beaten over a period of several days, his torturers used knives to carve what appeared to be four or five letters into his skin. According to the Daily Telegraph, a letter resembling an X was cut into his left hand, while other markings were carved into his back, above his right eye and on his forehead. “They used him like a blackboard,” his mother, Paola, said. The macabre details emerged from a 220-page post-mortem report conducted by two Italian coroners, Professors Vittorio Fineschi and Marcello Chiarotti.
- The Egyptian Prosecutor General traveled to Italy to meet with prosecutors there and ‘update them’ on the investigation following the Italian post-mortem report. He expressed his desire to meet with Regeni’s family to reassure them that the investigation is in progress. The Prosecutor gave the Italians his report and issued a statement regarding the murdered ‘gang of 5’ whom the ministry of interior claimed were behind Regeni’s death, stating that there is no evidence they were involved. In his statement he also said that they are continuing investigation.
- Family of the murdered 5 who have been absolved by the prosecutor vowed to sue the government for the wrongful murder of their family members. They said they knew their family members were innocent and did not need the prosecutor’s statement to know that.
- The head of Egypt’s independent union of street vendors reported Italian graduate student Giulio Regeni to police a few weeks before he disappeared and was murdered, an Egyptian prosecutor said in Rome. Government and security services deny ever taking Regeni into custody. But security and intelligence sources told Reuters in April he had been arrested by police outside a Cairo metro station on Jan. 25 and was taken to a Homeland Security compound.
Update Dec 23, 2016:
- Italian newspaper La Repubblica, chose Regeni’s mother as woman of the year.
Update January 24, 2017:
- Egypt broadcast an edited version of a video of Regeni [read also Reuters’ report]. It showed him talking with the head of the Street Vendors Association who kept asking him for funding but Regeni kept telling him no, he did not offer funding and certainly no personal funding. Egyptian newspapers claimed the video showed Regeni being a spy even though it completely showed the opposite.
Apparently the prosecutor general gave the video to Egyptian television to broadcast it and gave a more complete copy to Italy. The Street Vendors’ Association leader told newspapers that he knew Regeni was a spy and because he loved Egypt so he recorded him then reported him. He claimed that Regeni told him that the US was controlling Egypt and that there was much more that would implicate Regeni but the video that was broadcast has been edited. However Italy stated that the recording was with a very tiny camera that only the Egyptian police had. The Italian foreign minister renewed his commitment to finding Regeni’s killers. This basically proves that the intelligence agency was actually following Regeni and that they had a hand in his disappearance and further implicates the Egyptian police. It also shows how they tried to entrap him but Regeni was doing his research and was not offering funding to anyone. The videos basically backfired. Regeni’s family demanded that the Italian ambassador remain withdrawn from Egypt until the matter is resolved.
Update June 17, 2017:
- Egypt refused to allow Italian prosecutors to attend interrogations of 7 police officers implicated in Regeni case.