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Regeni murder an 'open wound', Italy tells Egypt

The killing of Regeni has poisoned Egypt's close relations with Italy [AFP]

Date of publication: 27 October, 2016

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Italy's foreign minister has described the case of slain Italian student Giulio Regeni as an "open wound", adding that Italy was not satisfied with Egypt's level of collaboration.

The case of Italian student Giulio Regeni who was tortured to death in Cairo earlier this year is an "open wound", Italy's foreign minister said on Wednesday.

"We got some signs of hope from Egyptian judicial authorities in September which Rome prosecutors interpreted as a willingness to collaborate," said Paolo Gentiloni, according to Italian news agency ANSA.

"But we are not satisfied, and it's no accident that we withdrew our ambassador in Egypt and we have not yet sent one back to Cairo."

Regeni, a 28-year-old Italian PhD student who was researching Egyptian trade unions, went missing in Cairo on the evening of 25 January, the fifth anniversary of the 2011 uprising that overthrew former dictator Hosni Mubarak.

His mutilated body was found a week later at the side of a road on Cairo's outskirts, suggesting he died of torture at the hands of security services during an interrogation, an allegation the Egyptian government has strongly denied.

Earlier this month, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said Italy was falsely blaming Egyptian security forces for the killing of Regeni because it was heeding "groundless" Egyptian media reports.

"I say to those who hold dear the interests of Egypt, don't hurt our interests," he said.

"Italy, in accusing the Egyptian security services of killing Giulio Regeni, relied on groundless information published by Egyptian media."

His killing has poisoned Egypt's close relations with Italy. In April, Rome recalled its ambassador to Cairo for consultations to protest what it said was the slow pace of the investigation and the perceived lack of cooperation.

Rights groups including Amnesty International have said Regeni was among hundreds of people who have disappeared in Egypt over the past year.

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