Vigil to be held for University of Cambridge student Giulio Regeni fours years after his murder in Egpyt
A vigil will be held in King’s Parade for the murdered University of Cambridge student Giulio Regeni on the fourth anniversary of his disappearance in Egypt.
A minute’s silence will be held at 6.41pm on Saturday January 25, the time of the last communication from the Italian PhD student in 2016.
Giulio’s mutilated body, which had signs of torture, was found on February 3, 2016, in Cairo, where he had been conducting his postgraduate research into independent trade unions - a subject that is politically controversial in Egypt.
His family, friends and supporters say there has yet to be a proper investigation into his death by the Egyptian authorities. No one has been charged with his death.
Amnesty UK’s Cambridge City and Cambridge University group, UCU, Cambridge MP Daniel Zeichner and other supporters will come together for the vigil, and demand justice for him and other victims of human rights abuses.
Similar vigils will also be held in Italy at the same time. Italian public prosecutors have accused the Egyptian officials of deliberately trying to mislead the investigation into Giulio’s death.
They placed five members of the Egyptian security forces under official investigation last year.
And last month, prosecutor Sergio Colaiocco told the first session of an Italian parliamentary commission, established to explore whether the student was being scrutinised by Egyptian security forces, that a number of claims made about Giulio’s death had been disproved.
“A web was spun by Egypt's national security service from the October preceding his death, a web in which the apparatus used the people closest to Giulio in Cairo,” said Mr Colaiocco.
A post-mortem examination in Italy found the student between the day of his disappearance and February 3, when he was found dead in a ditch, his body so disfigured that his mother said she could only identify him by the tip of his nose.
The Italian prosecutor said the examination showed he was beaten with kicks, fists, sticks and clubs and died from a broken neck.
The findings contradict initial claims in Egypt that the student died in a car accident, said Mr Colaiocco.
Egypt has acknowledged that security services were monitoring the student, but the authorities deny he died while in custody.
Mr Colaiocco said among the claims “fabricated” to disrupt the investigation was the suggestion that there was a sexual motive, because Giulio’s body was naked when found.
A claim on television that the student had been arguing with a foreigner near the Italian consulate on the evening of his death was disproven by phone records showing the supposed witness was nowhere near the location, while Guilio was proven to have been at home watching a film online at the time.
There were also “implausible” suggestions that a gang of five killed the 28-year-old, and all of them had been killed in a shoot-out.
Guilio’s disappearance came on the fifth anniversary of the beginning of the uprising against former President Hosni Mubarak.
Last year, Labour MP Mr Zeichner, who is due to speak at the vigil, asked the UK government what it was doing to pressurise the Egyptian authorities.
The Foreign Office said it condemned the “brutal manner of his killing” and was in touch with the authorities in Egypt and Italy.
Announcing the fourth anniversary vigil, Amnesty International said: “So far justice has not been done and the Egyptian authorities have obstructed a proper investigation into his murder.”
The charity asked those attending to bring tealights and jars and signs saying ‘Truth for Giulio Regeni’.
Details of the Cambridge vigil can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/2578357422286642/ .
More by this authorPaul Brackley