Home World Patrick Zaki released after 668 days of postponements, but is not acquitted. The father to the Italian diplomats: “I am grateful”

Patrick Zaki released after 668 days of postponements, but is not acquitted. The father to the Italian diplomats: “I am grateful”

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Patrick Zaki is free. Already today, even if at the moment there are no certainties: the student will first be transferred from Mansura to the Egyptian prison of Tora, then he will proceed with his release. It was hardly believed anymore, after 668 days of postponements. Instead, the new, umpteenth hearing this morning at the Mansura court against the Egyptian student of the University of Bologna, in prison since February 7, 2020, ended with the decision to finally set him free. But without acquittal, with the appointment postponed to February for the last word. Present in the classroom, as always, were the diplomatic representatives of the Italian embassy in Cairo and some colleagues from other allied countries. A sign of the growing international attention aroused by the case of the student, arrested on his arrival at the airport in Cairo.

Patrick Zaky, in the Mansoura court immediately after his release was announced


Zaki had been transferred for the occasion from the maximum security prison of Tora, where he was serving his odyssey, to that of Mansura. The accusations against him, with the passage of time, had almost all lapsed: only that of spreading false news remained, for which he risked up to 5 years. Amnesty International organized a sit-in in the square in Rome and in several other cities in support of the student for this afternoon. The next hearing of the trial will be held on February 1, even if, according to what is learned, Zaki was not required to sign in view of the next hearing, scheduled for February 1. But diplomatic sources warn: “He will have to introduce himself.” The moment in which he will be released, in fact, remains unknown: “We have learned that the decision is the release but we have no other details at the moment” explained the lawyer Hoda Nasrallah to Ansa.
The student’s mother merely declared: “I am jumping for joy.”

Zaki, the House approves the motion for Italian citizenship


Immediately after the announcement of the release of his son, however, Patrick Zaki’s father also embraced the two Italian diplomats present in Mansura and thanked them for the efforts made by Italy in order to obtain this result. “We are very grateful to you for everything you have done,” said George Zaki according to a person who was close to the two during the excited minutes following the announcement.

Zaki, the wait for the sentence: he risks 5 years. “If Draghi condemns him, ask for pardon”

Niccolò Carratelli


Amnesty’s reactions: “Sigh of relief.” Draghi: “Great satisfaction”

“A huge sigh of relief because the tunnel of 22 months in prison ends and we hope that this is the first step to then arrive at an acquittal order”. Thus Riccardo Noury, spokesperson for Amnesty International Italia, commented on the news. «The idea that Patrick could spend a night in a place other than prison after 22 months excites us and fills us with joy. In over ten Italian squares this evening we will go down with a mood different from the usual and more optimistic ».

Draghi: “Great satisfaction”
Prime Minister Mario Draghi “expresses satisfaction with the release of Patrick Zaki, whose story has been and will be followed with the utmost attention by the Italian government”. Palazzo Chigi makes it known.

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Di Maio: “First goal achieved”
«First goal achieved: Patrick Zaki is no longer in prison. Now we continue to work silently, with constancy and commitment. A dutiful thanks to our diplomatic corps ». Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio writes on Facebook.

Bonaccini: “Good news after 2 years of suffering, but it’s not enough”
“A wonderful news, the first after two years of suffering and deprivation of liberty.” This is how the president of Emilia-Romagna Stefano Bonaccini comments on the news of Patrick Zaki’s release from prison. “The release of Patrick Zaki pending the next hearing rewards in the first place his tenacity, his strength and that of his family and friends and fellow students, who have never given up in the face of unacceptable detention, because they do not you can certainly process ideas – Bonaccini writes on social media – It is a first glimmer, but it is not enough ».

Zaki’s odyssey, all the stages of the 22-month ordeal in Egypt


Patrick’s words before the hearing: “I’m fine, thanks Italy”
“Well, well, thank you,” holding up his thumb. So Patrick Zaki replied to an Italian diplomat who asked him how he was just before the hearing began. It was learned, in those excited minutes, that the diplomat was able to speak to him briefly to represent the closeness of the Italian institutions and Patrick thanked for what Italy and the Embassy are doing for him. The Italian diplomat had also talked to Patrick’s parents shortly before.

Attending today’s hearing, in addition to diplomats from the Italian embassy in Cairo, there are also representatives of Canada, the USA and Spain as well as a lawyer from the European Union delegation in Cairo, according to what the breaking latest news has learned. The lawyer of the Eipr NGO, with whom Patrick Zaki collaborates and who has taken on the defense of the Egyptian student since he was arrested at the Cairo airport on his return from Bologna for a period of break from his studies, waits for the judge to pronounce on its requests for the acquisition of documents.

Scarlett Johansson, the appeal for Patrick Zaki: “Immediate release”


The suspension after 4 minutes and the long wait
Recordings of surveillance cameras at the Cairo airport, minutes drawn up by a National Security officer and a police officer, as well as copies of the minutes of a civil trial and the summoning of a witness: these are the acts that a lawyer of Patrick Zaki, Hoda Nasralla, asked the judge to take over at the ongoing trial in Mansura. Another lawyer summed it up on the sidelines of the hearing. The video recordings are used to show that Patrick was arrested at the Cairo airport and not at his home in Mansura, as claimed by the prosecutor, the source added. The minutes requested are that of the national security official who documented the arrest in Cairo and that of the police officer who registered the arrest in Mansura, he specified, adding that the two documents should prove the illegality of the arrest. The acts of the civil trial concern a Christian who allegedly was discriminated against by preventing him from testifying in a disputed inheritance case from 2008, as Patrick argued in the 2019 article on discrimination against Copts in Egypt and indicted in this trial. Still in relation to the article, Nasrallah asked that the testimony of the brother of a Christian soldier killed by Islamic terrorists be acquired and who would have been denied adequate honors, again according to the article written by the student of which the lawyer wants to prove the truthfulness the source said again.

The man who marches for Zaki

Chiara Baldi


Living conditions in prison
Meanwhile, new information has come out about Zaki’s living conditions in prison. “You are better off in Tora, where at least there is a bathroom in the cell,” said an Egyptian source informed about prison conditions in Cairo and in the city on the Nile delta, referring to the transfer of Patrick Zaky to a prison in Mansura. “Here in Mansura – he added – after four in the afternoon you can only use the bucket, the bucket used as a latrine inside the cell”.

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