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.
1. Italy’s Senate voted today to adopt a motion granting the Italian citizenship to our colleague Patrick George Zaki, the researcher @EIPR and Masters’ student at the University of Bologna who has been a political prisoner in Egypt since February 2020 without evidence or trial pic.twitter.com/ZwWHDrcEsV— المبادرة المصرية للحقوق الشخصية (@EIPR) April 14, 2021
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.
The Italian senate approved a motion committing the government to grant imprisoned researcher and masters student Patrick Zaki Italian nationality. 208 votes in favor and Zero against it. #freepatrickzaki https://t.co/xl2JffGRpO— Hussein Baoumi (@husseinmagdy16) April 14, 2021
The portrait of Patrick Zaki, made in calligraphy art with the words from the letter sent to Tora prison, was installed in the Rectorate of the University of Bologna.— FreePatrick (@FreePatrick3) April 10, 2021
Source Link: https://t.co/dfHqzLIXY1 pic.twitter.com/JgO4E6lwRT
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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