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Giulio Regeni's murder was not isolated incident, says mother

Paola Regeni said her son was tortured and killed like an Egyptian [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 30 March, 2016

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The murder of Italian student Giulio Regeni, who was tortured to death in Egypt in January, was not an isolated incident, his mother said on Tuesday.

The mother of murdered Italian student Giulio Regeni, tortured to death in Egypt in January, said on Tuesday that her son's murder was not an isolated incident.

"If we refer to what happened - meaning the torture of an Italian citizen - then it probably is an isolated case. But otherwise it is not. Giulio's friends have told us that they tortured and killed him like an Egyptian," Paola Regeni said during a press conference at the Italian Senate.

"I won't tell you what they had done to him," she said. "I recognised him just by the tip of his nose. The rest of him was no longer Giulio".

The grieving mother said she had taken a photograph of her son's battered body and was prepared to publish it if Cairo continued to refuse to share the findings of its probe with the Italian police.

"What torments me is the thought that, before the first blow even fell, he knew that a door had closed forever. He had all the intelligence and culture to know what was about to happen to him," his mother said.

Giulio Regeni, the 28-year-old Cambridge University graduate student went missing in Cairo on 25 January and his mutilated body was discovered nine days later.

Egyptian authorities said the student fell victim to a criminal gang after police killed four gang members last week and found the student's passport in one of the their apartments.

In the days in which Giulio disappeared, two other cases of torture were recorded and both of the people were found dead, bearing signs of torture.
Riccardo Noury, Amnesty International

Italian media and Western diplomatic sources in Cairo have voiced suspicions that Egyptian security services were behind the murder of Regeni.

Riccardo Noury, a spokesman for the Italian branch of Amnesty International said during the press conference at the Senate that some 88 cases of torture have already been reported this year in Egypt, 8 of which resulted in the detainee's death.

"In the days in which Giulio disappeared, two other cases of torture were recorded and both of the people were found dead, bearing signs of torture," added Noury.

Prosecutors in Cairo on Saturday ordered the detention of four people over Regeni's murder, all of them closely related to the leader of the gang who was killed in the shootout with police.

Italy has so far rejected each of the vastly contradictory accounts Egypt has put forward, including allegations early on that the student had been working as a spy - an accusation his mother furiously denied.

The family's lawyer, Alessandra Ballerini, said the investigators from Cairo "must bring us everything that's missing, including the phone records and data collected from the cell sites in the area and the security video footage from near the metro where he disappeared, and the area in which his body was found."

"We don't even know what Giulio was wearing when his body was discovered," she said, adding that the family wanted more information as well on the gang which had his passport, and how they could have acquired it.

Manconi said that if the data was not handed over, Italy's foreign ministry "should declare Egypt an unsafe country, which would without a doubt have a not insignificant effect on the numbers of tourists" there.

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