Giulio Regeni: instigators, culprits, accomplices

Renzi und Al-Sisi

Infoaut staff's obituary for Guido Regeni, the Italian PhD researcher murdered in Cairo, and whose dead body was found this week

In the last two months of 2015, in Egypt there were 340 forced disappearances. On average, three persons per day are abducted by Egyptian secret services and police in order to be brought in various areas of the country - where they suffer torture, rape and violence. As some activists denounced at the end of the year, the government gave carte blanche to the officers to manage "threats to national security" as they do wish, while local media keep being silent about State abductions.


On January 25, Giulio Regeni exits his house in order to go and take the metro. The young Italian student is in Cairo for a PhD and is an occasional contributor for the Il Manifesto daily. That evening he disappears, his friends search for him to no avail. A campaign to find him kicks off, the authorities are questioned; as always, they declare to have no idea about where the missing persons are.


On tuesday - a week after the disappearance of Giulio - the Italian minister of economic development, Federica Guidi, lands in Cairo at the head of a delegation counting 60 companies and the representatives of Sace, Simest and Confindustria*; for one of those many business travels disguised as diplomatic missions where government representatives are invited to act as valets of the big Italian capital. The Minister pleasantly entertained herself with the Egyptian president Abdel Fatah al Sisi himself, who fervently calls for investment in the country - boasting chances of interesting profits for the Italian companies, thanks to the opening of six new ports alongside the Suez channel. Italian trade with Egypt is worth 4 billions euros, and the visit by Guidi is helping to prepare the awaited intergovernmental summit between the two countries that is scheduled a few weeks ahead - during which Renzi and the Egyptian president will sign new trade agreements, to the delight of the business leaders of both shores of the Mediterranean sea.


On wednesday, while Minister Guidi was shaking hands with Egyptian notables and businessmen, Giulio Regeni's body was discovered. Egyptian authorities initially talk about a car accident, but the reality is different: he was slain and, it seems certain now, savagely tortured by his abductors.

In the afternoon there is the ritual phone call between the president Renzi and Al Sisi. Of course, condolences and reassurances about the impartiality of the investigations are given. But the Egyptian Presidency of ministries - being it maybe so accustomed to certain episodes to avoid with candour that hypocrisy being due in our context - cared to stress with a press statement that mutual guarantees of the utmost need to pursue economic integration between the two countries and coordination in security issues were given. The war in Libia is knocking at the door, the contracts are ready, let us not be distracted.


There is no mystery around Giulio's death.


There is a country that, five years after the Tahrir square uprising, legitimized the extra-judicial executions of militants, journalists and dissenters with the approval of the West - that is only ready to support the revolutions when they close in swift and profitable regime changes. A country with which Italy always entertained profitable relationships, from Mubarak to Al Sisi, demonstrating that the stench of blood will never be important enough to cover the scent of money.


Truth and justice for sure - because we want to exactly know how, why and at whose hands Giulio Regeni died. But may the likes of Gentiloni** and Renzi spare us their hypocrisy.


Once again, it is their business which produces our dead.


Goodbye Giulio, may earth be soft under you.



*SACE - Public Italian export credit agency; SIMEST - Mainly public company who assists Italian enterprises abroad ; CONFINDUSTRIA - Italian bosses' union

**Italian Foreign Affairs minister