Egypt's FM deplores Amnesty International's 'incitement against Egypt'

Thursday 23-06-2016 01:52 PM

The building of Egypt's Foreign Ministry. ASWATMASRIYA/ Ahmed Hamed

CAIRO, Jun 23 (Aswat Masriya) – Egypt's foreign ministry strongly denounced on Wednesday a letter believed to be sent by Amnesty International to the Italian foreign minister regarding the murder of Italian student Giulio Regeni.

In its statement, the foreign ministry responded to inquiries regarding the Amnesty International letter reported  by Italian media outlets to have been sent to Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni on June 20.

The letter accused the Egyptian authorities of failing to cooperate in the investigation of Regeni's murder and praised Italy's move to recall its ambassador to Cairo.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid denounced the letter's content and described it as "Amnesty's new way of incitement against Egypt" compared to its usual periodic reports.

Abu Zeid expressed his surprise concerning the letter's omission of Cambridge University's lack of cooperation with Regeni's family and refusal to submit needed information to the family's lawyer, saying that this confirms Amnesty's "bias and unprofessionalism".

Cambridge University has denied these allegations in a letter published in The Guardian and signed by tens of academics on June 20 in an attempt to correct the "false and distressing claims made by Italy's deputy minister of foreign affairs."

The university clarified that it has not received any request for help from Italian prosecutors, adding that the "lack of response" from Egypt should not divert attention from the search for the truth behind Regeni's murder.

Cambridge University has pressed the Egyptian authorities to explain Regeni's death and it has called on the British government to exercise pressure and support Italy in its quest for the truth, according to the letter.

Ahead of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture on June 26, Amnesty called on Italy's foreign minister and Prime Minister to make more effort to establish the truth behing Regeni's death.

Italy recalled last April its ambassador then, Maurizio Massari, to Cairo after Egyptian investigators failed to meet Italy’s expectations in providing evidence needed to uncover the mystery of Regeni’s death. 

More recently, Italy named Giampaolo Cantini as the new ambassador to Egypt to replace Massari.

Gentiloni said last week that Italy’s newly appointed ambassador to Egypt will remain in Rome for the moment due to tension between the two countries over case of Regeni, reported Italian news website ANSA. 

The young Italian researcher, Regeni, went missing in Cairo on Jan. 25, 2016, which marked the fifth anniversary of the popular uprising that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak.

Ten days later, Regeni's 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.

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