The 25th of January was the fifth anniversary of Egypt’s Arab Spring, when the populace got together and through protests and demonstrations, ended the 30 year rule of then President Hosni Mubarak.
An Italian student named Guilio Regini who’d been a PhD student at the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Cambridge, was a visiting scholar at the American University in Cairo (AUC), he’d left his home in Giza to meet up with a friend down town and suddenly went missing. The area where the victim had been headed to was near Tahrir Square, where the 2011 uprisings had initially started.
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Prior to and even on the actual day of the anniversary, tensions had been high with the police detaining a number of activists and issuing warnings against protest. The Italian student, Giulio Regini, had been 28 years old and his body was found on a road on Cairo’s western outskirts on Wednesday. The body had cigarette burns and knife wounds on it, a report which caused the Italian foreign ministry in Rome to urgently send for the Egyptian ambassador to express concerns on Thursday morning.
The first report on the case sent to the Italian foreign ministry said his body showed signs of torture. A further claim had suggested that he’d been a victim of a traffic accident before a prosecutor gave this current version of events where the young Italian student suffered stab wounds and cigarette burns that were the marks of a slow death.
The contradictions on the death account of the Italian student which continued making headlines in Italian media understandably infuriated the government, which proceeded to release a harsh statement claiming to have summoned the Egyptian ambassador and urged Cairo to launch a joint investigation into what happened to Mr. Regini to find out what really happened.