Giulio Regeni was killed for researching Egyptian trade Unions, Rome prosecutor has said

Eddie Spence 25 January 2018

On the second anniversary of Giulio Regini's disappearance, Italy's leading newspapers have published an article by Rome's chief prosectutor Giuseppe Pignatone, confirming Regeni's death was motivated by his research into Egyptian trade unions. Summarising the results of a joint Italian-Egyptian investigation, Giuseppe also confirmed Giulio was the target of state surveillance, but stopped short of accusing the Egyptian state of involvement in his murder.

Regini, who was in Egypt to research for his Cambridge doctorate, was kidnapped and murdered in Cairo two years ago. His body showed signs of torture, leading to accusations of state involvement in his death. No arrests have yet been made for the Italian's murder.

“The motive can be easily traced to Giulio’s research activities during his months in Cairo," Pignatone wrote, in his first public discussion of the graduate's death. "

“What also has become clear is that Giulio had for months attracted the attention of Egypt’s state apparatus, which continued in an increasingly pressing way until Jan 25."

The news came on the same day a candlelit vigil was held in Cambridge for Regeni, with the Facebook event titled 'Truth for Giulio.' Organised by the Cambridge branch of Amnesty International, a human rights group, the event called on the Egyptian government to "prosecute those responsible for Giulio's death" and aimed to show "solidarity for all those Egyptians who have been victims of torture and forced disappearance, and to that Giulio will never be forgotten."

The Egyptian government still deny involvement with the Regeni's death. Three weeks ago Giulio's supervisor Dr Abdelrahman had her computer and cell phone seized by Italian prosectutors. Cambridge deny any link between Abdelrahman and Regeni's murder.