University and College Union
London Retired Members' Branch

Truth for Giulio and Stop Torture in Egypt

We support the demand for an end to torture in Egypt, and call to account the governments around the world which are complicit in these brutal practices by continuing to sell arms and engage in security cooperation with the Egyptian authorities. Giulio's parents Paola and Claudio made a clear call on European governments to take action against Egypt when they met MEPs at the European parliament last week.

Paola told MEPs
“We have a file of 266 photos which show what happened to Giulio, a real encyclopedia of how torture is practiced in Egypt ... We don't want to show them publically because it would mean we had touched rock bottom, but he was a European citizen and the battle for the truth needs to be taken up by Europe.”

European countries should withdraw their ambassadors, end defence and security deals with Egypt and declare the country unsafe for tourists, she added, arguing that the time for treating the Egyptian government as a "friend" has passed. “You don’t kill the children of your friend. Everyone asks me what is the (Italian) government doing and what is the European Union doing. We’ve had enough commemorations, now we need action. Egypt is not collaborating with Italy or with Europe.”

Giulio Regeni disappeared on 25 January in Cairo, where he was researching independent trade unions for his PhD in Development Studies at the University of Cambridge. On 3 February his body was found, bearing signs of severe torture which human rights groups say are the hallmarks of the Egyptian security forces.
The Egyptian government denies it had anything to do with his disappearance and murder. Yet what happened to Giulio was not an isolated incident: over 400 unresolved cases of forced disappearance have been documented in Egypt since August 2015. Amnesty International reported nearly 90 cases of torture in the first three months of 2016.