Giulio Regeni’s Parents Call EU Member States to Isolate Egypt

Giulio Regeni’s family strive to reach the truth about the barbaric murder of their son in Egypt on the anniversary of the January Revolution. The parents of the Ph.D. student said at the European Parliament’s human rights commission that Italy and Europe must up the pressure on Egypt to obtain a transparent probe into the death of Giulio Regeni, tortured and murdered in Cairo.

Paola and Claudio Regeni said that EU member states must recall their ambassadors and declare Egypt an unsafe country. They said, “I don’t understand whether Italy is still a friend of Egypt or not: you don’t kill the children of your friend.”

Regeni’s body was found brutally tortured and murdered after his disappearance in Cairo, with the signs of Egypt’s security forces on his body. Since the military coup in 2013, harsh campaigns and arbitrary detentions have taken place in the country that turned Egypt to a State of terror.

The stance of the European countries was very weak regarding the continuous human rights violations. Moreover, some major EU member states were not only passive toward the human rights crackdown but they also cooperated with Al-Sisi’s military regime for strengthening its repressive tools.

Amnesty International stated in a report it released in May 2016 that almost half of the European Union (EU) member states have suspended arms transfer to Egypt due to the wave of unlawful killings, enforced disappearances, and torture. However, 12 out of 28 EU member states have remained among Egypt’s main suppliers of arms and policing equipment.

Magdalena Mughrabi- interim Deputy Middle East and North Africa Programme Director of Amnesty International said, “Internal repression by the security forces remains rife, and there has been virtually no accountability. Excessive use of force, mass arbitrary arrests, torture, and enforced disappearances having become a part of the security forces’ modus operandi. She added, “EU states transferring arms and policing equipment to Egyptian forces carrying out enforced disappearances, torture and arbitrary arrests on a mass scale are acting recklessly and are risking complicity in these serious violations.”

Italy was among the EU member states that supplied arms to Egypt through exports or brokering since 2013. Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Poland, and the UK are also among the EU states list of arming the Egyptian regime.  

According to Privacy International, companies from several EU countries, including Germany, Italy and the UK have also supplied the Egyptian authorities with sophisticated equipment or technologies destined for use in state surveillance, which Amnesty International fears may be used to suppress peaceful dissent and violate the right of privacy.