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Giulio Regeni and the national interest

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Commentary. If he ever truly and honestly was an object of the “national interest” from the point of view of the Italian institutions, Regeni is no longer. He remains in the interest of the countless people demanding the truth.

written by Riccardo Noury

Topic Italy

Also filed under commentary


November 14, 2017

For 22 months now, the words “searching for the truth” always call to mind Giulio Regeni, ever since Jan. 25, 2016, when he was kidnapped in Cairo and subjected to several days of secret imprisonment and lethal torture. “Searching for the truth” was exactly what Regeni, a doctoral student researching his thesis, was doing in the Egyptian capital.

“The truth” is exactly what millions of people and hundreds of local and cultural organizations in Italy are still asking for. But on Thursday, those words ended up outrageously associated with Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. None other than our foreign minister, Angelino Alfano, described the Egyptian president as “a passionate discussion partner in the search for the truth.”

Two months ago, in September, as part of the rhetoric used to justify the return of the Italian ambassador to Cairo, Alfano had called Egypt an “essential partner” for Italy.

On Feb. 7, 2016, four days after the discovery of Regeni’s battered body, the same Alfano had said: “It was a punch in the gut, and I haven’t gotten my breath back yet. We could see the results of the autopsy. It’s something inhuman, animalistic violence. … Bringing the truth to light will also mean preventing other lives from being shattered in this way. … His death honors the whole of Italy; it is the sacrifice of a young man........

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