Conference on Giulio Regeni murder held in Rome

Conference on Giulio Regeni murder held in Rome

The Italian Senate upper house of parliament will on Monday host a conference on the killing last year in Egypt of doctoral student Giulio Regeni, a case that has poisoned relations between the two countries.

The president of the Senate's human rights commission, Luigi Manconi, will open the conference entitled 'The Death of Giulio Regeni - a State Killing' and Regeni's parents, their lawyer and a spokesman for Amnesty International Italy will address the event.

Italy withdrew its ambassador to Egypt over 28-year-old Regeni's brutal murder early last year, which experts and officials widely believe was the work of state actors - despite staunch denials by Egypt's president Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and his government.

Regeni, a 28-year-old Italian PhD student at Cambridge University disappeared in Cairo on 25 January, the fifth anniversary of the 2011 uprising that overthrew longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak.

Ten days later, Regeni's battered, disfigured body was found dumped on the Cairo-Alexandria highway, bearing signs of torture. He had been researching independent trade unions in Egypt and had published articles critical of the government, writing under a pseudonym.

Egypt has pledged to bring Regeni's killers to justice and Egyptian and Italian investigators have held regular meetings in Rome.

Italian officials have stated that they have received all the requested evidence – such as phone records - but more than a year after Regeni's murder remains unsolved.

Regeni’s murder has come to be seen as symbolic of Egypt’s high number of forced disappearances, widely associated with torture, where victims are held in secret without access to their family or lawyers.

In their first annual report, the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms identified 789 cases of forced disappearances between August 2015 and August 2016.