EU parliament lambasts Egypt over death of Italian PhD student

The brutal kidnapping and murder of an Italian PhD student in Egypt highlights the country's widespread acceptance of human rights abuses, the European Parliament said Thursday in a resolution.

The body of Giulio Regeni was found on February 3 after he disappeared on January 25 in Cairo. While Egyptian authorities initially blamed the 28-year-old's death on a road accident, the Italian government later said it showed clear signs of torture.

The murder "is not an isolated incident but occurred within a context of torture, death in custody and enforced disappearances across Egypt in recent years," the European Union assembly said in a resolution adopted in Strasbourg, France.

Amid suggestions that Regeni got in trouble whilst doing Cambridge University research on trade unions and other opposition groups, his death has attracted renewed scrutiny of Egypt's rights record under President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi, a former army chief.

EU lawmakers urged Egypt to share with Italy "all the documents and information necessary to enable a swift, transparent and impartial joint investigation" and make every effort "to bring the perpetrators of the crime to justice as soon as possible."

The EU parliament's resolutions on foreign affairs are non-binding.

But hours after the assembly voted, prosecutors in Rome said they had been invited to Cairo to be given an update about the case. Italian authorities had earlier complained about insufficient cooperation coming from Egyptian counterparts.

In a statement, relayed by the ANSA and Adnkronos news agencies, Rome Chief Prosecutor Giuseppe Pignatone said a trip to Cairo would be organized soon.

Last update: Fri, 24/06/2016 - 08:49
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