Home » The stories that shed light on the abuses of the Egyptian regime – Catherine Cornet

The stories that shed light on the abuses of the Egyptian regime – Catherine Cornet

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The stories that shed light on the abuses of the Egyptian regime – Catherine Cornet

The killing of Giulio Regeni, the Italian student who died as a result of torture and torture while being detained by the Cairo police forces in 2016, represents a watershed for any human rights discourse in Egypt.

The # VeritàperGiulioRegeni campaign will remain a virtuous example of civil action and transnational solidarity, intelligently conducted by Regeni’s parents and hundreds of Italian volunteers who have never forgotten the prisoners and Egyptian victims in their struggle.

Their solidarity was widely recognized by Egyptian civil society, which on several occasions reiterated: “Giulio was killed like one of us”, an expression taken from the book Minnena. Egypt, Europe and research after the assassination of Giulio Regeniwith a recent follow-up from Mesogea, Minnena 2. Repression, disinformation and research between Egypt and Italy.

Looking instead at the trial for his murder in progress in Italy and at the balance of power between Italians and Europeans and the Egypt of General Abdel Fattah al Sisi “the case #Giulio Regeni it could become a textbook case on how an authoritarian regime can guarantee the immunity of its agents by exploiting the guarantees provided by the Italian criminal procedure “. This is the comment of the president of Amnesty international Italia, Riccardo Noury, after the hearing on 11 April, during which the ministry of justice also confirmed that there was no collaboration from the Egyptian authorities.

Other families
Meanwhile in Cairo, another family – always belonging to a researcher, always a very peaceful person – found the tortured body of Ayman Hadhoud after two months of anguish and research. “Another Giulio Regeni was killed”, the Egyptians shout on social networks, who have followed the news a lot.

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Ayman Hadhoud was a researcher, economic consultant at the American University in Cairo, collaborating with the United Nations Development Program to help small and medium-sized enterprises fight corruption. He was also a member of Mohamed Anwar al Sadat’s party who, as a member of the National Human Rights Council, had in the past managed to free some detainees, explains the Facebook page Al Mawqif Al Masry which follows human rights violations in Egypt.

As news of Hadhoud’s death spread, the most famous of Egyptian dissidents, Alaa Abdel Fattah (in prison since September 2019 and author of the book You haven’t been defeated yetrecently published in Italy thanks to the translation of activists and friends), was on hunger strike since the beginning of Ramadan.

Abdel Fatah is not on his first hunger strike, but this time it is different, the family explains in a statement: “For two and a half years Alaa has lived in a cell without sunlight, without books, without being able to move. His visits were limited to a family member and for twenty minutes a month, through a glass. For two and a half years he has lived under daily torture and the total control of a prison officer whose only function is to punish him ”.

The other important news is that Alaa Abdel Fattah has now become a British citizen thanks to his mother, born in the United Kingdom in 1956. The family had never taken advantage of this possibility but this time they told themselves that it could not be done otherwise. And so now London will have to manage the situation of his fellow citizen in prison: Abdel Fattah immediately requested a visit from the British consulate to check the conditions of his detention.


Alaa Abdel Fattah and Patrick Zaki, who could soon become an Italian citizen, managed to attract international attention. They are key figures who light a beacon on all those who will never be able to obtain a foreign citizenship to save themselves.

The European passport also saved the Egyptian Palestinian dissident Ramy Shaath, recently released after 900 days in prison, but whose Egyptian citizenship was revoked. Céline Lebrun Shaath, his French wife, used these harsh words on Twitter: “To be Egyptian or to be free. The Egyptian authorities force young people to choose ”.

In fact, in Egypt, if there were no independent news site Mada Masr (blacked out for Egyptians) or social networks, there would not even be a reference in the Egyptian press to the killing of Ayman Hadhoud. As if it never existed.

And again, as for the killing of Giulio Regeni, writes the website Egypt Watch who spoke to Hadhoud’s family, the interior ministry has provided absurd explanations: at first the researcher would have stolen a car, then the version she was changed and he was accused of breaking into a house. “However, the truth is that the interior ministry – and the Al Sisi regime – do not try to propose a plausible narrative, they want above all that, both from a distance and from near, everyone knows that they are running a repressive and murderous device that does not fear anyone. They don’t even bother to prepare a coherent narrative to convince public opinion ”.

A new Giulio Regeni was killed in Egypt, while in Italy it is still not possible to find out the truth. But the Egyptians who dream of a better future have not yet been defeated.

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