Will He Be Freed Soon? Italy Exceptionally Grants Citizenship To Egyptian Human Rights Activist

Published April 15th, 2021 - 09:02 GMT
Italians demanding freedom for Patrick Zaki
Patrick Zaki was detained upon arrival at Egypt on a family visit in February 2020. (Twitter)

After 14 months in Egyptian jails upon arrival on a family visit, Egyptian student in Italy Patrick George Zaki has been granted Italian citizenship, with hopes rising of a soon release.

In another diplomatic attempt to help release the Egyptian activist who has been enrolled in a Master's program in the University of Bologna before being arrested by Egyptian authorities in February 2020, the Italian Senate has approved an exceptional move to grant Zaki the country's citizenship, so the Italian government can continue to demand his release.

Zaki, who has not been charged yet, is one of around 60,000 political detainees in Egypt, many of whom have been arrested on the basis of their political views, often unfavorable of the current president Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.

Ever since the 2013 military coup that ousted the Muslim Brotherhood president a year after he won the country's first election post the Arab Spring, thousands of Egyptians have been arrested on the basis of their political beliefs, which has been driving international criticism.

Zaki's family and friends hope that his Italian citizenship will make things easier for him, as Egypt has on more than one occasion released dual citizens following their countries' demands, namely activist Aya Hijazi and journalist Mohamed Fahmy, both US citizens.

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