Egypt Watch

Italy asks EU to adopt Regeni’s case

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said that it had been decided to directly engage the European Union to pressure Egypt over the jurisdiction to try suspects by the Italian judiciary in the Giulio Regeni murder. The minister added, “Italy is a founding country of the European Union, and it cannot back down concerning the issue of human rights… It is appropriate that our European partners express themselves clearly on this issue.”

Italian authorities have moved to activate all possible international channels “in order to pressure Egypt to prosecute suspects in the torture and murder of researcher Giulio Regeni in early 2016.”

In a recent press interview the Italian prime minister announced that “the trial of the four suspects from the Egyptian security forces will take place in Italy, and there will be names in the dock.” He added, “I have worked for this solution within the limits of my responsibilities and will continue to work to achieve justice … We want the truth about Giulio … We also want the legal residence of the accused in this trial, and we want there to be clear indications of cooperation on the part of Egypt.”

A few days ago, the Italian prosecutor accused four Egyptian officers – Tarek Saber, Aser Kamal, Hossam Helmy, and Magdy Sharif – of torturing and killing Regeni in February 2016.

Italian Attorney General Miguel Priestpino Garreta gave the four defendants 20 days to respond to the charges against them, stressing that the case of Regeni’s murder will be referred to a criminal trial in absentia in early 2021.

The European parliament issued an angry statement calling on European Union countries to conduct a “deep and comprehensive” review of relations with Egypt, against the backdrop of the deteriorating human rights situation there, and limiting the financial support provided to Cairo. The statement called for a study of imposing sanctions on senior Egyptian officials, whom it said were involved in “serious violations.”