Egypt denies involvement in Italian student’s death
Egypt's interior minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar speaks during a press conference on February 8, 2016 in the capital Cairo. (AFP/Mostafa Abulezz)
Egypt has responded for the first time to allegations that its police were responsible for the death of 28-year-old Italian student Giulio Regeni.
His body was found last week in Cairo showing extensive signs of torture.
Egypt’s Interior Minister Magdi Abdel Ghaffar has denied the student was ever arrested. Before his disappearance on January 25, Regeni had been researching Egyptian labour rights and had written articles critical of the Egyptian government. The Egyptian authorities have put his death down to criminal activities.
“These accusations are totally unacceptable, and this is not Egyptian security policy at all, Egyptian security has never been charged with such things before,” said Egyptian interior minister.
Rights groups in Egypt say police often detain people on scant evidence and scores have disappeared since 2013.
Two autopsies have been carried out on the student’s body, in both Cairo and Rome. The first confirmed a blow to the back of the head with a sharp instrument, the second a reported broken neck.
Euronews’ Cairo correspondent Mohammed Shaikhibrahim said that with little progress made in the case ties are strained between Cairo and Rome:
“Italian investigators in Egypt have been investigating alongside their Egyptian counterparts for several days now but the reasons behind the death remain unknown and mysterious. This increases pressure on the Egyptian government to discover who carried out the crime of torture and murder.”
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