Italy’s national debate piles on pressure in Regeni murder case

The case of Italian student Giulio Regeni, who was found murdered in Egypt in February, has become a matter of public debate in Italy, with the left-wing and right-wing parties taking a united stance on the case, according to Rome-based writer Tareq Othman.

During a talk show aired on the privately-owned Al-Ghad TV channel, Othman said that Italian heads of political parties and media professionals stress daily on the need to sever trade ties with Egypt, recall the Italian ambassador and terminate the work of the Eni gas company in Egypt.

Ahead of the arrival of an Egyptian delegation in Rome, the Italian Foreign Ministry issued warnings to Egypt, as the goverment comes under mounting pressure from the media and public opinion, he added.

Talks between the Egyptian delegation and Italy will determine the relations between the two countries, Othman said, adding that the Italian prime minister declared earlier that the government will not sit with its hands tied waiting for the truth behind Regeni's death to be revealed.

Regarding the disappearance of the Egyptian man Adel Moawwad five months ago in Rome, Othman said that the case is different, since it was simply a disappearance with no evidence yet that he was killed, whereas Regeni’s case raises questions about a possible link to his research and his relationships with rights groups.

Regeni went missing in Cairo on January 25th, the fifth anniversary of the popular uprising that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak. In February, his body was found, bearing signs of torture, in a roadside ditch on the outskirts of Cairo.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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