Egyptians mock 'ridiculous' police report of solving Regeni's murder

Egyptians mock 'ridiculous' police report of solving Regeni's murder
Egyptian social media users have expressed disbelief and serious suspicions at police reports they gunned down a "criminal gang targeting foreigners" that tortured and murdered Italian grad-student Giulio Regeni.
3 min read
25 Mar, 2016
Regeni's abduction and murder has been blamed on the Egyptian police [Getty]

Egyptians have taken to social media to cast serious doubt on the police's claims that they killed a "criminal gang" responsible for the murder of Italian student Giulio Regeni.

Social media users poked holes in the police's "far-fetched" and "crudely made" report that they had nabbed Regeni's murders on Thursday.

Police put out a statement that police had killed four members of a "criminal gang of police impersonators specialised in kidnapping and robbing foreigners" in a Cairo shootout with mentioning Regeni.

They later said they tracked down Regeni's possessions in a bag at the home of one of the gangsters, where one of their wives confessed the bag belonged to her slain husband.

Police released photographs of Regeni's passport, university identification cards and a wallet.

Internationally renowned human rights blogger Wael Abbas said the police report was so implausible that foreigners would surely react by saying: "Do the Egyptians think the world is stupid? They just happened to kill all the gang who supposedly killed this guy. How convenient."

      Images released by police of Regini's belongings [MoI]

"Of course the rest of the world seems pretty sure it was the police or state security who killed the guy," Abbas added.

Journalist Wael Mamdouh mocked the whole fiasco: "This is such an Egyptian 'cracking the case' B-movie plot, which we should have expected - but not in such a ridiculous fashion."

Sarah Mohsen tweeted: "Seriously, MOI should've put some effort finding a better story to cover up the Giulio Regeni murder. The gang story with the belongings is stupid."

One Twitter user asked: "They've said they found Regeni's mobile, sunglasses, passport and other possessions. So [the criminals] dumped his body and held on to his belongings and didn't sell them?".

Popular blogger "The Big Pharaoh" said he thought the police must be "cornered", and under pressure were forced to come up with this "hard to believe crime story".

Another user said: "They first gunned them down, went to search the house of one of their sisters and then found Regeni's stuff safe and sound. What great intuition! You guys think the Italians are kindergarteners, they are a million times smarter that you lot."

Mohammad came up with a satirical headline for the situation: "Breaking: Foreign Ministry comes to agreement with Italians that they will believe gang story and stop giving us a hard time."

Regeni went missing on the evening of January 25, the anniversary of the 2011 uprising that overthrew veteran strongman Hosni Mubarak.

Police were out in force that day to prevent protests, and Regeni was last heard from as he walked to an underground station to meet a friend.

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

The manner of Regeni's abduction and killing provoked accusations in Italy of Egyptian police involvement.

Regeni, 28, had been researching labour movements in Egypt, a sensitive topic, and had written articles critical of the government under a pen name.