Egypt murderers carved 'mysterious letters' into Regeni's dead body

Egypt murderers carved 'mysterious letters' into Regeni's dead body
The body of an Italian student murdered in Egypt was 'used like a blackboard', a postmortem investigation has revealed, with suspicion falling on state intelligence agents.
3 min read
09 September, 2016

Italian student Guilio Regeni who was murdered in Egypt had mysterious letters carved onto his body by his captors who tortured and beat the doctoral student for several days, a postmortem examination has revealed.

The investigation found that the 28-year-old Cambridge University graduate had what appeared to be four or five letters carved onto his corpse.

"In the dorsal region - to the left of the spine - there is a group of marks which seem to make up a letter," the 220-page autopsy report written by Italian coroners Vittoria Fineschi and Marcello Chiarotti stated.

"It is reasonable to hypothetise that he was hit with kicks, fists, sticks and hammers." 

One of the letters, resembling a X, was cut onto his left hand. The others were carved into his back, forehead and above his right eye.

"They used him like a blackboard," his mother Paola was quoted in the Telegraph. She also said that her son's corpse was so badly disfigured that she recognised only his nose.

The two coroners also found that Regeni's abductors had broken several of his bones and shattered five of his teeth. He also bore several cuts, bruises and burns around his body.

Guilio Regeni, a PhD student at Girton College, went missing in Cairo in January during the commemorations of the fifth anniversary of the revolution that brought down former ruler President Hosni Mubarak. 

The student's body was discovered in a ditch on the outskirts of Cairo a week later.

In the immediate aftermath of the discovery, Egyptian authorities claimed that Regeni had may have killed in a traffic accident, by kidnappers, or murdered by a gay lover.

Most blame Egyptian intelligence officers for the killing.

At the time of his disappearance, Regeni was researching the activities of anti-government trade unions in Egypt.

Investigations into Regeni's death have caused an open rift between Rome and Cairo, with the latter having accused Egypt's government of non-cooperation.

This accusation came amid claims that Regeni was targeted by Egyptian authorities because of the potential implications of his research.

While Regeni's case has captured international attention, forced and politically motivated disappearances have become a chilling reality in Egypt today.

A recent report published by Amnesty International noted an "unprecedented spike" in enforced disappearances in Egypt since early 2015, with security services using them as a means to quash dissent.

"Enforced disappearance has become a key instrument of state policy in Egypt. Anyone who dares to speak out is at risk," said Philip Luther, Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa director.

The London-based human rights group said abuses had surged since the military overthrew Egypt's first democratically elected President Mohammed Morsi in 2013, and unleashed a crackdown on Islamist and secular opponents.