Giulio Regeni was a Cambridge PhD student. He came from a little town near Trieste, Fiumicello. He was in Cairo to lead a research on the field of dealing with independent unions in Egypt. He was studying how these labor movements managed to organize and survive despite the strict and undemocratic rules imposed by al-Sisi. Giulio Regeni was aware of the risks coming from his work, he knew about what has happened to journalists, intellectuals and protesters who tried to fight the government. Because of that, he was very careful, he used social networks wisely - constantly monitored by secret services- and created a pseudonym for signing up his articles. All his care was not enough to save his life.
On the 25th of January Giulio Regeni was gone, his friends in Cairo tried to look for him, as well as the Italian embassy. His body will be found on the 3rd of February, with evidences of torture. Since that painful day, his family has been constantly asking for a declared truth. They are efficiently supported by Amnesty International, which has launched the campaign "#truthaboutGiulioRegeni" with the aim to keep the public attention up and to urge public institutions to take action against al-Sisi and his brutal methods. Several flash-mobs and sit-ins have been taken place in Italy and also in other European countries, such as the UK. Many cities decided to put the yellow banner with the mentioned slogan at the balcony of administrative offices or academic institutions.
Many versions about why Giulio was killed has been given by the Egyptian government: First a car accident, then a robbery, then a crime of passion. Nobody believed any of these theories. The Italian government appointed their own prosecutors to investigate on Giulio's murder and call the ambassador in Egypt back as far as Cairo refused to seriously cooperate in order to shine some light on this terrible episode. On the other hand, this decision did not stop the commercial relationship between the two countries. An example: A few weeks ago, one of the Egyptian ministers came to Italy to talk about tourism in Egypt. Realpolitik above all, even above the cruel murder of one of us. Also European institutions proved their indifference. European countries such as France continued to reinforce the partnership with Egypt in terms of a strategic country against terrorism.
After nine months, not a single man was formally accused of the murder of Giulio Regeni. The investigations seem to be paralyzed by political games. Egyptian activists, who tried to find more out about not only Giulio's case, but also about mysterious disappearances of the opposition, are threatened or put into jail. Alexander Stille, journalist for The Guardian, wrote a long article on who could have murdered Giulio Regeni and, above all, who could have betrayed him, probably one member from the independent unions Giulio was studying on.
As Italian citizen and as student I feel that this battle on finding out the truth about Giulio Regeni is also mine, but it must be embraced also by all of the students and the young who despise violence and support democracy. I do not want to be part of the silence and of the indifference that al-Sisi and his supporters want to achieve in relation to Giulio Regeni's case as it would mean also covering up all the tortures and brutalities committed by his men. I demand justice, because punishing Giulio's murder would mean condemning whoever hinders the academic research and the freedom of expression. Giulio Regeni was a world citizen. Like many of us, he believed in a no-borders world, but he was not a naive man, he was aware that this goal could not have been reached in the immediate, but only after a long cultural and political process.
We owe Giulio this battle for justice. We cannot be tired of urging institutions and public opinions to ask for the truth about Giulio Regeni.