Friday, February 05, 2016

Giulio Regeni’s case

"Mr Regeni, a PhD student at the Department of Politics and International Studies (Polis) at the University of Cambridge, was a visiting scholar at the American University in Cairo (AUC). According to news and other sources, he left his apartment at 8 pm on 25 January with the intention of taking the metro from Duqqi to Bab al-Louq to meet a friend, but never arrived. 
We understand that, although initial statements from your government attributed Mr. Regeni’s death to a robbery gone awry or a traffic accident, State Prosecutor Ahmed Nagi has now admitted that there were signs of torture on the body, including cigarette burns and knife wounds. 
Even were this case an isolated incident, it would demand a thorough investigation to identify those responsible and bring them to justice. However, what makes this case even more disturbing is that it is but the most recent, if the most deadly, example of the growing danger posed by the current political climate in Egypt to all those engaged in academic work. We have written to you repeatedly over the past months to express our deep concern regarding a range and number of violations of academic freedom and freedom of expression that would require countless pages to list in full*: 
  • denial of entry to the country and harassment of numerous scholars and researchers; 
  • gross state interference in university student and faculty governance; 
  • the dismissals and expulsions of hundreds of students and faculty; 
  • the sentencing of academics to death. 
Now, an academic has been brutally murdered." (thanks Laurie)