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One year since the murder in Egypt of Cambridge PHD student Giulio Regeni Watch

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    Giulio Regeni, an Italian Cambridge student, was abducted, tortured and murdered in Egypt one year ago, while researching for his PhD on Egyptian trade unions. Details about the murder can be found here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Giulio_Regeni

    One year after the murder, the case is still unsolved, although most suspicions have been directed towards the Egyptian secret services. In fact, people at present are routinely disappearing in Egypt, among a widespread indifference in international public opinion. According to Amnesty International,"Egypt’s National Security Agency (NSA) is abducting, torturing and forcibly disappearing people in an effort to intimidate opponents and wipe out peaceful dissent" https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/ne...al-repression/

    While Egyptian authorities have been widely accused of deliberately muddying waters around the inquest, the UK Government and Cambridge University were criticised for not cooperating sufficiently and failing to exert pressure on Egyptian authorities : these accusations and criticisms however have been squarely rejected by those targeted.

    More information : http://www.ansa.it/english/news/2016...d577ebc87.html

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...-giulio-regeni

    http://espresso.repubblica.it/inchie...orare-1.269973

    http://www.varsity.co.uk/news/10457

    https://www.cam.ac.uk/notices/news/s...-giulio-regeni

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/14/o...gypt.html?_r=1

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...-giulio-regeni

    While Italy recalled her Ambassador to Egypt, no strong official initiatives by the European Union or other Member States seem to have been taken (although the UK Government did release a statement and the European Parliament did adopt a resolution on this case) https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...egeni-in-egypt

    In particular, according to the Guardian article, the EP sharply criticised EU Member States, which it claimed had turned a blind eye to reports about Egypt’s systematic human rights abuses. Far from being an “isolated incident”, it painted a picture of a state where disappearances, torture and disregard for civil rights and press freedom have become the norm.

    The resolution called for the suspension of any form of security cooperation with Egyptian authorities and condemned arms deals between Egypt and France, Germany and the UK.

    I searched for the name "Regeni" on TSR, but i found no results. It seems to me, therefore that, one year after his murder, the case of this Cambridge student should not be forgotten.
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    (Original post by mariachi)

    The resolution called for the suspension of any form of security cooperation with Egyptian authorities and condemned arms deals between Egypt and France, Germany and the UK.
    I think I found why nobody cares.
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    (Original post by Josb)
    I think I found why nobody cares.
    This

    also, I imagine that the present Egyptian Government is seen, by some European States, as a sort of bulwark against Islamism, Al Qaida, Isis etc etc

    so, in their view, we should close an eye on human rights abuses, since the intention is good...
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    I would have thought studying Egyptian trade unions was ridiculous regardless of what happened to them. A European student, at Cambridge? What practical use would it be?
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    (Original post by viffer)
    I would have thought studying Egyptian trade unions was ridiculous regardless of what happened to them. A European student, at Cambridge? What practical use would it be?
    This is somehow beside the point.

    However, if you want to have some more information about Regeni's studies and research objectives, this is by the director of the University of Cambridge Centre for Development Studies, David Runciman http://www.devstudies.cam.ac.uk/news...geni-1988-2016

    "Giulio Regeni, who was found dead in Cairo, Egypt on 3rd February, was a highly promising young scholar of social and economic development in the Middle East. Giulio came to the University of Cambridge in 2011, after previously obtaining a first class degree for his BA in Arabic and Politics at the University of Leeds. In Cambridge, he studied for a master’s degree in Development Studies. His academic results were excellent, and he was awarded a high pass in completing the degree. His time on this MPhil also fostered his academic interests in the Middle East, and took him on to applying for professional postings in the region.

    He ended up in Cairo, working for the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, where he furthered his keen interests in the labour sector, economic change and governance in a country that was undergoing significant political changes.

    Wanting to develop these interests more systematically, and after a year working for the international consulting firm Oxford Analytica, Giulio came back to Cambridge in 2014. He returned to the Centre of Development Studies at the Department of Politics and International Studies to study for a PhD, with the aim of pursuing an academic career. Inspired by work on how trade unions organised in pre-2011 Egypt, Giulio sought to understand how the labour sector was changing in the country, in the context of economic globalisation and greater international institutional linkages. After completing the first year of the PhD in Cambridge, he arranged to spend part of the year 2015-16 as a visiting scholar at the American University in Cairo.

    Giulio was passionate about his research. He was always receptive to new ideas and approaches, but his work remained driven by a sense of justice. Giulio was enthusiastic also about communicating his knowledge to a wider audience. He signed up to teach a course on the comparative politics of the Middle East to undergraduate students, intending initially to return to Cambridge from Egypt in early January 2016 to begin teaching. But with research and conversations in Cairo progressing well, he postponed his intended return until March"

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    I also find it very shocking, on a site where so many of the students will travel for holidays or for field work in various parts of the world, that there was not more discussion about Giulio Regeni's murder, and in some forms, I find myself tempted to say he was assassinated. I realize that term usually applies to some one who is an elected official, well known person, holder of some degree of political, financial or religious clout which makes them a figure, who-if they are murdered, would send shock waves back to the area(s) that they are known in or in which they had power or influence. To my mind, he was a foreigner, falsely seen as some sort of spy or something, and as a consequence, he was killed. Moreover, he was a member of academia, conducting researching, indeed on Egyptian trade unions, but his larger contribution would have been to the over-arching study and positioning of labor forces throughout the region, the need for and opposition against more workers' rights, better and safer working conditions, etc. Those are some VERY serious issues, and they are VERY timely. He was not a student on holiday who was murdered, he was targeted for exactly who he was-an international researcher and a foreigner.

    I can not imagine what his family went through and is going through. I read how some within the Italian government had encouraged the family to release the photos, the horrific photos in their fullness and horror to the public. I remember, growing up, for example, and learning about the murder of Emmett Till.

    His mother made a critical decision. When the authorities were clearly doing nothing to solve his murder, she decided to have him buried in an open casket, showing the horror of what happened to this little boy. And it galvanized The Civil Rights Movement. Now, importantly, as time goes by, so does the headline begin to dissipate from the public attention. I do NOT believe, most respectfully, Cambridge, with all its considerable might and reputation, has done nearly enough to keep this in the public. But I fear it was a mistake, perhaps, to also not release those photos. Perhaps, the family thought they would get something in the way of justice from the authorities, I do not know. I lived in and walked some of those same streets for 2 years, so I knew there would be no justice without massive external pressure. Initially you had some of that, and I am not faulting or saying anything negative about the family-I respect whatever decisions they made.I am only saying that I find myself wondering, when the story was trending, if those photos of what was done to him, being released-would have triggered even more outrage to galvanize the efforts to bring Mr. Regeni's assassins to justice. Unfortunately, the data and reasonable investigatory conclusions thus far, unequivocally point the hand to the government being responsible, allegedly at the highest levels, for Giulio's assassination. That isn't big news or a shock or surprise based upon the many documented forced disappearances, and tortures that have occurred there, but perhaps, even the photos being released, would not have made a difference because of the "who" was alleged to have been involved.

    I do hope for more. It should NOT just be Cambridge, it should be Oxford, it should be every uni in the UK, every Uni anywhere that engages in academic research and field work pushing this back to the fore. I will be very interested to see what is being done (if anything, I don't know yet) on this by the overall University of London system of which I will soon, Inshallah, be a part. I agree, its as if the UK took a position of "oh, well, he is NOT British"-I mean, that was the criticism, it may not be accurate, perception is NOT always reality-but that was a criticism. I think those of us who care about this issue must try to link up somehow and connect to push forward in our various Student Unions, this issue to the forefront.

    (Original post by mariachi)
    Giulio Regeni, an Italian Cambridge student, was abducted, tortured and murdered in Egypt one year ago, while researching for his PhD on Egyptian trade unions. Details about the murder can be found here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Giulio_Regeni

    One year after the murder, the case is still unsolved, although most suspicions have been directed towards the Egyptian secret services. In fact, people at present are routinely disappearing in Egypt, among a widespread indifference in international public opinion. According to Amnesty International,"Egypt’s National Security Agency (NSA) is abducting, torturing and forcibly disappearing people in an effort to intimidate opponents and wipe out peaceful dissent" https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/ne...al-repression/

    While Egyptian authorities have been widely accused of deliberately muddying waters around the inquest, the UK Government and Cambridge University were criticised for not cooperating sufficiently and failing to exert pressure on Egyptian authorities : these accusations and criticisms however have been squarely rejected by those targeted.

    More information : http://www.ansa.it/english/news/2016...d577ebc87.html

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...-giulio-regeni

    http://espresso.repubblica.it/inchie...orare-1.269973

    http://www.varsity.co.uk/news/10457

    https://www.cam.ac.uk/notices/news/s...-giulio-regeni

    https://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/14/o...gypt.html?_r=1

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...-giulio-regeni

    While Italy recalled her Ambassador to Egypt, no strong official initiatives by the European Union or other Member States seem to have been taken (although the UK Government did release a statement and the European Parliament did adopt a resolution on this case) https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...egeni-in-egypt

    In particular, according to the Guardian article, the EP sharply criticised EU Member States, which it claimed had turned a blind eye to reports about Egypt’s systematic human rights abuses. Far from being an “isolated incident”, it painted a picture of a state where disappearances, torture and disregard for civil rights and press freedom have become the norm.

    The resolution called for the suspension of any form of security cooperation with Egyptian authorities and condemned arms deals between Egypt and France, Germany and the UK.

    I searched for the name "Regeni" on TSR, but i found no results. It seems to me, therefore that, one year after his murder, the case of this Cambridge student should not be forgotten.
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    (Original post by luq_ali)
    I also find it very shocking, on a site where so many of the students will travel for holidays or for field work in various parts of the world, that there was not more discussion about Giulio Regeni's murder, and in some forms, I find myself tempted to say he was assassinated. I realize that term usually applies to some one who is an elected official, well known person, holder of some degree of political, financial or religious clout which makes them a figure, who-if they are murdered, would send shock waves back to the area(s) that they are known in or in which they had power or influence. To my mind, he was a foreigner, falsely seen as some sort of spy or something, and as a consequence, he was killed. Moreover, he was a member of academia, conducting researching, indeed on Egyptian trade unions, but his larger contribution would have been to the over-arching study and positioning of labor forces throughout the region, the need for and opposition against more workers' rights, better and safer working conditions, etc. Those are some VERY serious issues, and they are VERY timely. He was not a student on holiday who was murdered, he was targeted for exactly who he was-an international researcher and a foreigner.

    I can not imagine what his family went through and is going through. I read how some within the Italian government had encouraged the family to release the photos, the horrific photos in their fullness and horror to the public. I remember, growing up, for example, and learning about the murder of Emmett Till.

    His mother made a critical decision. When the authorities were clearly doing nothing to solve his murder, she decided to have him buried in an open casket, showing the horror of what happened to this little boy. And it galvanized The Civil Rights Movement. Now, importantly, as time goes by, so does the headline begin to dissipate from the public attention. I do NOT believe, most respectfully, Cambridge, with all its considerable might and reputation, has done nearly enough to keep this in the public. But I fear it was a mistake, perhaps, to also not release those photos. Perhaps, the family thought they would get something in the way of justice from the authorities, I do not know. I lived in and walked some of those same streets for 2 years, so I knew there would be no justice without massive external pressure. Initially you had some of that, and I am not faulting or saying anything negative about the family-I respect whatever decisions they made.I am only saying that I find myself wondering, when the story was trending, if those photos of what was done to him, being released-would have triggered even more outrage to galvanize the efforts to bring Mr. Regeni's assassins to justice. Unfortunately, the data and reasonable investigatory conclusions thus far, unequivocally point the hand to the government being responsible, allegedly at the highest levels, for Giulio's assassination. That isn't big news or a shock or surprise based upon the many documented forced disappearances, and tortures that have occurred there, but perhaps, even the photos being released, would not have made a difference because of the "who" was alleged to have been involved.

    I do hope for more. It should NOT just be Cambridge, it should be Oxford, it should be every uni in the UK, every Uni anywhere that engages in academic research and field work pushing this back to the fore. I will be very interested to see what is being done (if anything, I don't know yet) on this by the overall University of London system of which I will soon, Inshallah, be a part. I agree, its as if the UK took a position of "oh, well, he is NOT British"-I mean, that was the criticism, it may not be accurate, perception is NOT always reality-but that was a criticism. I think those of us who care about this issue must try to link up somehow and connect to push forward in our various Student Unions, this issue to the forefront.
    Thanks for your post

    I am also afraid that this atrocious murder risks being forgotten in the near future, if not more is done to somehow "agitate" for truth. I do not know what could be done : yes, perhaps releasing the photos of Regeni's tortured corpse may shock public opinion into action, but the family's decisions have to be respected

    as things stand, it is clear, in my view

    -that Regeni was murdered by Egypt's secret services, and that the Government is covering up responsibilities

    -Regeni was, most likely, suspected of spying : but absolutely nothing has emerged that would point in that direction

    - Cambridge University has done precious little in order to inform Regeni and his family of the risks involved in this research and, after the murder, in order to search for truth

    -the main problem is this : the Egyptian Government is seen as an important political and economic partner of the "West" and, as said, a "bulwark" against Islamism. So, few forces are willing to exert strong pressure on it. This situation is not going to change soon

    -yes, UK Student Unions should most definitely take up the case. I don't know how this could possibly be pushed forward (I am not a UK resident). Any ideas ?

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    I agree with you, that nothing is going to change, anytime soon, in terms of pressure from, for example, the United States. At least under President Obama, there was some modicum of pro-forma pressure, but under the idiot we have now, he pretty much embraces anything-as evidenced by the mounting evidence of his own crimes.

    HOWEVER, I do think that there is a great deal of will in Italy, and I also think that some recent developments are helpful. Please see the link below for the terrible killing of the young Egyptian man, after he too, was "taken" by the police.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...-a7861681.html

    http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/bo...rest-386798145

    (the link below contains disturbing images of the body of Mr. Sameh)
    https://twitter.com/abdofares/status...214977/photo/1

    The one thing that holds true, is that seemingly anyone, Muslim, Coptic Christian, foreigner-anyone can be taken, so it cuts across any of those sort of divisions. I would suggest, that since Amnesty International is documenting the issue and calling for an investigation, that we avail ourselves of it and other NGO's that are documenting the murders and abuses, and which are also calling for investigations. We could then leverage the issue for presentations in the various student unions. I understand if you are not a UK resident, but any uni you are involved with or attended in the past, especially in Europe, would be a good contact. I know the University of London's Student Union is supposed to be pretty powerful and unafraid to take on serious issues. Every study abroad, postgraduate and research student is at risk, and in fact, we now see some programs doing greater risk assessments, training, and warnings. So we need to try to get this back to the campuses-University of London's Student Union is 9 unis, and then if that starts off, it can be pushed on to Cambridge, and Oxford. Also, of course, members of the community will be anxious to get involved, and it is not uncommon to see such persons and organizations who are not part of a formal uni become involved and team up with the unis to push certain things, send speakers, arranging lectures, etc. We can make a goal of getting this going and at a high point of attention in time for the 2nd anniversary of Giulio's killing, which means we would have from now, till the school terms begin in late September, until January 2018. We need to literally embarrass and humiliate Cambridge -force them to get much more involved through their network, alumni, the UK government, by having unis not even affiliated with Giulio do more than they have done. And we can make it about safety and accountability of unis for their students who are studying and researching abroad in the name of Giulio and hopefully getting justice for him. What do you think?


    (Original post by mariachi)
    Thanks for your post

    I am also afraid that this atrocious murder risks being forgotten in the near future, if not more is done to somehow "agitate" for truth. I do not know what could be done : yes, perhaps releasing the photos of Regeni's tortured corpse may shock public opinion into action, but the family's decisions have to be respected

    as things stand, it is clear, in my view

    -that Regeni was murdered by Egypt's secret services, and that the Government is covering up responsibilities

    -Regeni was, most likely, suspected of spying : but absolutely nothing has emerged that would point in that direction

    - Cambridge University has done precious little in order to inform Regeni and his family of the risks involved in this research and, after the murder, in order to search for truth

    -the main problem is this : the Egyptian Government is seen as an important political and economic partner of the "West" and, as said, a "bulwark" against Islamism. So, few forces are willing to exert strong pressure on it. This situation is not going to change soon

    -yes, UK Student Unions should most definitely take up the case. I don't know how this could possibly be pushed forward (I am not a UK resident). Any ideas ?

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    (Original post by luq_ali)
    I agree with you, that nothing is going to change, anytime soon, in terms of pressure from, for example, the United States. At least under President Obama, there was some modicum of pro-forma pressure, but under the idiot we have now, he pretty much embraces anything-as evidenced by the mounting evidence of his own crimes.

    HOWEVER, I do think that there is a great deal of will in Italy, and I also think that some recent developments are helpful. Please see the link below for the terrible killing of the young Egyptian man, after he too, was "taken" by the police.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...-a7861681.html

    http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/bo...rest-386798145

    (the link below contains disturbing images of the body of Mr. Sameh)
    https://twitter.com/abdofares/status...214977/photo/1

    The one thing that holds true, is that seemingly anyone, Muslim, Coptic Christian, foreigner-anyone can be taken, so it cuts across any of those sort of divisions. I would suggest, that since Amnesty International is documenting the issue and calling for an investigation, that we avail ourselves of it and other NGO's that are documenting the murders and abuses, and which are also calling for investigations. We could then leverage the issue for presentations in the various student unions. I understand if you are not a UK resident, but any uni you are involved with or attended in the past, especially in Europe, would be a good contact. I know the University of London's Student Union is supposed to be pretty powerful and unafraid to take on serious issues. Every study abroad, postgraduate and research student is at risk, and in fact, we now see some programs doing greater risk assessments, training, and warnings. So we need to try to get this back to the campuses-University of London's Student Union is 9 unis, and then if that starts off, it can be pushed on to Cambridge, and Oxford. Also, of course, members of the community will be anxious to get involved, and it is not uncommon to see such persons and organizations who are not part of a formal uni become involved and team up with the unis to push certain things, send speakers, arranging lectures, etc. We can make a goal of getting this going and at a high point of attention in time for the 2nd anniversary of Giulio's killing, which means we would have from now, till the school terms begin in late September, until January 2018. We need to literally embarrass and humiliate Cambridge -force them to get much more involved through their network, alumni, the UK government, by having unis not even affiliated with Giulio do more than they have done. And we can make it about safety and accountability of unis for their students who are studying and researching abroad in the name of Giulio and hopefully getting justice for him. What do you think?
    thanks again

    let's hear if there are some other reactions. I am Italian, and I have no links to UK Universities (beyond TSR). The Italian Government has actually been quite active on this issue, to the point of withdrawing its Ambassador to Egypt, but by now strong economic interests are pushing for a normalisation of relations between the two countries. I will contact the Italian section of Amnesty International and see what is happening, but my impression is that, unfortunately, Regeni's murder is starting to become in some way "yesterday's issue"

    Let's see if there are some more reactions, and then take it up from there

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    (Original post by mariachi)
    thanks again

    let's hear if there are some other reactions. I am Italian, and I have no links to UK Universities (beyond TSR). The Italian Government has actually been quite active on this issue, to the point of withdrawing its Ambassador to Egypt, but by now strong economic interests are pushing for a normalisation of relations between the two countries. I will contact the Italian section of Amnesty International and see what is happening, but my impression is that, unfortunately, Regeni's murder is starting to become in some way "yesterday's issue"

    Let's see if there are some more reactions, and then take it up from there

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    Repeating what has been said above, it is a difficult one considering Egypt's relations and "intentions".

    I am rather suprised however at the lack of investigation from either Cambridge or the government regarding this (there may have been done, but I am unaware of it).

    With regards to the general role of universities, the most (if anything) probably would be to remind its students when they're considering or before they embark on further study/research/elective work abroad, especially in certain countries.
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    Okay, sure. You mentioned that you are Italian, do you have links to Italian Universities and/or organizations? Those could be used to link with their UK counter-parts, such efforts have been fruitful in the past. I agree the Italian Government has been quite responsive, and yet, I think the outrage was also there, and by documenting and keeping alive in the collective consciousness of the Italian people, what has happened to others who disappeared, like the recent tragic story I shared, then it is not just about Giulio, it links him up as a martyr with all of those other ones, and keeps the interest just as strong, with every new disappearance.
    You mentioned seeing what other responses were, were you referring to this site? (If so, I am unsure, what to do to keep more people commenting or involved with it here, I'm still fairly news to the site and am still trying explore its full options) I do think, unless a methodical, organized and pro-active approach is taken, nothing is going to happen or generate any fruit on the UK campuses or elsewhere.

    (Original post by mariachi)
    thanks again

    let's hear if there are some other reactions. I am Italian, and I have no links to UK Universities (beyond TSR). The Italian Government has actually been quite active on this issue, to the point of withdrawing its Ambassador to Egypt, but by now strong economic interests are pushing for a normalisation of relations between the two countries. I will contact the Italian section of Amnesty International and see what is happening, but my impression is that, unfortunately, Regeni's murder is starting to become in some way "yesterday's issue"

    Let's see if there are some more reactions, and then take it up from there

    best
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    (Original post by luq_ali)
    Okay, sure. You mentioned that you are Italian, do you have links to Italian Universities and/or organizations? Those could be used to link with their UK counter-parts, such efforts have been fruitful in the past. I agree the Italian Government has been quite responsive, and yet, I think the outrage was also there, and by documenting and keeping alive in the collective consciousness of the Italian people, what has happened to others who disappeared, like the recent tragic story I shared, then it is not just about Giulio, it links him up as a martyr with all of those other ones, and keeps the interest just as strong, with every new disappearance.
    You mentioned seeing what other responses were, were you referring to this site? (If so, I am unsure, what to do to keep more people commenting or involved with it here, I'm still fairly news to the site and am still trying explore its full options) I do think, unless a methodical, organized and pro-active approach is taken, nothing is going to happen or generate any fruit on the UK campuses or elsewhere.
    Thanks for your answer

    yes, as a start, we could at least keep Regeni's murder (and the human rights situation in Egypt in general) "on the radar screen" here on TSR (I'll post a thread in the Cambridge section, as soon as I have some time)

    then, I'll check what's happening in Italian student organisations, but they are much less active and popular than equivalent UK ones

    Amnesty international - Italian section has some actions going on about Giulio, but not much seems to be happening
    https://www.amnestyinternational.it/...giulio-regeni/

    English language Amnesty does not seem to have recent information on torture and disappearances in Egypt
    https://www.amnesty.org/en/search/?q=Egypt

    The last comprehensive report is this
    https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents.../4368/2016/en/

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    Latest story in the NY Times on Giulio:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/15/m...red-egypt.html


    (Original post by mariachi)
    Thanks for your answer

    yes, as a start, we could at least keep Regeni's murder (and the human rights situation in Egypt in general) "on the radar screen" here on TSR (I'll post a thread in the Cambridge section, as soon as I have some time)

    then, I'll check what's happening in Italian student organisations, but they are much less active and popular than equivalent UK ones

    Amnesty international - Italian section has some actions going on about Giulio, but not much seems to be happening
    https://www.amnestyinternational.it/...giulio-regeni/

    English language Amnesty does not seem to have recent information on torture and disappearances in Egypt
    https://www.amnesty.org/en/search/?q=Egypt

    The last comprehensive report is this
    https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents.../4368/2016/en/

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    August 31, 2017 article on Giulio Regeni from Egyptian newspaper, Mada Masr(which, among other things, notes Egypt is hoping with the return of the Italian Ambassador to Egypt and other economic ventures now going forward-well, they are hoping Giulio will be forgotten, in time):

    https://www.madamasr.com/en/2017/08/...media-pundits/
 
 
 
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