Egypt slams Amnesty International's 'bias' in Regeni case

Egypt slams Amnesty International's 'bias' in Regeni case
Egypt's foreign ministry spokesperson has criticised Amnesty International over its 'incitement' and 'bias' against Egypt in the case of slain Italian student Giulio Regeni.
2 min read
23 June, 2016
Regeni's killing has poisoned Egypt's close relations with Italy [Twitter]

Egypt's foreign ministry has slammed Amnesty International over its "incitement" against Egypt in the case of Italian student Giulio Regeni, who was tortured to death in Cairo earlier this year.

The UK-based human rights organisation "took a new route in its incitement against Egypt", ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid told Cairo reporters on Wednesday.

Abu Zeid was answering questions from reporters regarding Italian news reports about a letter from Amnesty International to Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni accusing Egyptian authorities of failing to cooperate in the Regeni probe.

Regeni, a 28-year-old Cambridge University PhD student, was in Egypt researching independent trade unions. He went missing in Cairo on the fifth anniversary of the January 25 revolution that toppled strongman Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

His mutilated body was found a week later at the side of a road on Cairo's outskirts, suggesting he died at the hands of security services during an interrogation, an allegation the Egyptian government has strongly denied.

Abu Zeid questioned why Amnesty did not also criticise the University of Cambridge, which was accused on Saturday by Italy's deputy foreign minister of failing to cooperate in the investigation of the student's brutal murder.

"This confirmed Amnesty's bias against Egypt," he said.

The University of Cambridge has responded to Italy's accusations, asserting it was "fully committed" to the inquiry into Regeni's death.

In a letter published by the Guardian and signed by several Cambridge professors, the University pointed out a "lack of response from Egypt" in the probe.

"All those at Cambridge associated with Giulio Regeni... have taken an active role in bringing pressure to bear on the Egyptian regime to involve its infamous security apparatus in a genuine and credible investigation to find the actual culprits," the letter read.

Regeni's killing has poisoned Egypt's close relations with Italy.

In April, Italy recalled its ambassador to Egypt for consultations to protest what it said was the slow pace of the investigation and the perceived lack of cooperation.

Last week, Regeni's parents called upon the European Union to implement sanctions on Egypt during an earlier meeting with a human rights committee in Brussels.

The call for increased pressure of Egypt came as the bereaved parents accused the Egyptian government of failing to cooperate fully with the investigation into his death.

Meanwhile, Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has insisted that the investigation into the murder of Regeni in Cairo is being conducted with the "utmost transparency", with Egyptian officials repeatedly denying speculation that security forces were involved in the murder.