AFRICA/EGYPT - The Coptic Catholic Bishop of Guizeh: the murder of Regeni used to ruin relations between Cairo and Rome

Wednesday, 16 March 2016 violence  


Guizeh (Agenzia Fides) - The murder of Giulio Regeni was carried out by "professional torturers" perhaps also aimed at "ruining the relations of the present Egyptian and Italian governments". This is how Anba Antonios Aziz Mina, Coptic Catholic Bishop of Guizeh, tries to evaluate data and hypotheses which have emerged in recent weeks around the case of the young Italian researcher, whose lifeless body and with obvious signs of torture was found on February 3 in a ditch on the road between Cairo and Alexandria, a few kilometers from his episcopal see. The prosecutor in Guizeh is involved in the investigation on the case. And Bishop Antonios, together with Franciscan Father Mamdouh Chehab, participated in the prayer in front of the body of the boy killed, held at the Italian Hospital in Cairo, in the presence of family members of the victim.
Fr. Chehab also took part in Regeni’s funeral, celebrated in Italy. "That boy" stressed the Coptic Catholic Bishop "was engaged in a scientific study on independent trade unions, and according to the coroner's report was tortured by professionals, because the torture to which he was subjected can only be perpetrated if one has torture rooms and special equipment available".
According to Anba Antonios, some details of the terrible crime can be deciphered as evidence of a targeted strategy pursued by Regeni’s torturers: "the Italian boy", said the Bishop, "disappeared on January 25, on the anniversary of the uprising that led to the end of Mubarak’s regime. In addition, after killing him, the torturers could have made the body disappear, bury it in a hole in the desert, and nobody would have found it. Instead, in my opinion, they made sure that the body was found, on the same day the Italian minister for economic development, Federica Guidi was on a visit to Egypt accompanied by 30 businessmen, for meetings where important economic agreements had to be signed. That visit was interrupted after meeting with President Adel Fattah al Sisi. And this cannot but suggest the deliberate intention of ruining Egypt's relations with Italy, one of the Countries that continue to support and to share common interests with the Egyptian government".
The effort to preserve the good Italian-Egyptian relations - remarks Anba Antonios Aziz Mina - "also reflects on how the two Countries are handling the investigation into the case. I am convinced that the Egyptian apparatus will collaborate in search of the truth. What I regret", adds the Coptic Catholic Bishop "is having heard someone, even in Italy, say that the poor boy 'went looking for trouble'. " (GV) (Agenzia Fides 16/03/2016)