Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Dozens mourn slain Italian student at Cairo embassy

Dozens of people gathered at the Italian embassy in Cairo to mourn the Italian student Giulio Regeni, whose body was found half naked at a roadside with what a senior Egyptian prosecutor has said were cigarette burns and other signs of torture. Regeni, a Cambridge University doctoral student, went missing in Cairo on Jan. 25, the fifth anniversary of the uprising that ended Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule. His body was found on Wednesday. He had disappeared after leaving home in a smart district of Cairo to meet a friend, according to another friend. His research had focused on trade unions in Egypt after the 2011 uprising and he had also written articles critical of the Egyptian government under a pseudonym, according to the Italian newspaper that published them. A group of about 50 people including friends and Egyptian political activists gathered in front of the embassy on Saturday, laying flowers and lighting candles. Regeni’s body had been flown to Rome earlier on Saturday, Egyptian officials at Cairo airport told state news agency MENA. Il Manifesto, a left-wing newspaper based in Rome, published Regeni’s final article on Friday, describing difficulties faced by independent unions in Egypt under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. On Thursday, the Italian Foreign Ministry summoned the Egyptian ambassador to express concern about the student’s death, and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi telephoned Sisi, asking for a joint investigation and the swift return of his body to Italy.



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