"I feel your pain, just as I suffer... for my son": Mother of 2011 Uprising icon addresses Giulio Regeni's mother

Sunday 03-04-2016 01:32 PM

Paola Regeni, mother of Giulio Regeni, during a news conference at the upper house of parliament in Rome, Italy, Mar 29, 2016. REUTERS/Remo Casilli

CAIRO, Apr 3 (Aswat Mariya) – The mother of a young Egyptian regarded as an icon of Egypt’s 2011 Uprising appeared in a video on Saturday expressing solidarity with the mother of an Italian who was tortured to death in Egypt. 

“I offer my condolences to the mother of [Giulio] Regeni, the martyr. I feel for you, and I feel your pain, just as I suffer every day, until now, for my son Khaled,” Laila Marzouk, the mother of Egypt’s Khaled Said, addressed Paola Regeni, in a video that was posted on YouTube. 

Said was a 28-year-old Egyptian who was beaten to death by police in Alexandria in 2010. A Facebook page created by activists in his memory, “We are all Khaled Said,” called for mass protests on January 25, 2011, sparking a popular uprising that toppled then-President Hosni Mubarak after he ruled the country for 30 years. 

Regeni was a 28-year-old Italian Ph.D. student who was researching trade unions in Egypt. He went missing on Jan. 25, 2016, which marked the fifth anniversary of the 2011 Uprising. Ten days later, his body was found, bearing signs of torture, in a roadside ditch on the outskirts of Cairo.

A number of media reports accused Egyptian security forces of torturing the Italian student to death, which the Egyptian interior ministry has denied.  

“I want to thank you for standing with us, that you care about torture cases in Egypt,” Said’s mother added in her video to Regeni's mother.

Regeni’s mother has recently said that Regeni’s death was no “isolated” incident.

“Going back to the ‘isolated case’, I mentioned earlier [that] the Egyptians on our side said, ‘He was tortured and killed just like an Egyptian,’” she said in Rome on Mar. 29, in the first press conference the family has given since Regeni’s body was found.   

“He might be an isolated case for Italian history, but not if we look at Egypt,” the Italian mother said. 

The Egyptian interior ministry had said on Mar. 24 that they found Regeni’s personal belongings in the apartment of a “gang member.” Regeni’s family ruled out criminal gain as a motive for the Italian student’s murder, according to Reuters.

"You will take on your son's journey," Said's mother said. "May God give you the power to overcome them."

Click here to watch Laila Marzouk addressing Paola Regeni in a YouTube video. 

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