Murder in Cairo – February 4

After going missing on January 25th, the corpse of 28-year-old Italian doctoral student Giulio Regeni was found on Wednesday, buried in a shallow grave on the outskirts of Cairo. Regeni had arrived in Egypt in September 2015 to pursue research for his doctoral studies on Egyptian economics, and disappeared on the 5th anniversary of the revolution against Hosni Mubarak, which was marked by various demonstrations. Last seen at the Bohooth Metro Station, he was found naked below the waist, with bruising and signs of torture across his body. His disappearance last month ignited a desperate campaign on Twitter through the hashtag #whereisgiulio, with friends and colleagues from across the world asking for any information on his whereabouts.

Regeni attended a classics high school in Trieste before entering into the United World College of the Adriatic (Collegio del Mondo Unito dell’Adriatico) in Duino (Friuli-Venezia Giulia). A successful student, he was accepted into a doctoral program at the University of Cambridge in 2014, where he was based at POLIS, Cambridge’s Department of Politics and International Studies. Regeni was a visiting scholar at the American University in Cairo, and was slated to stay until May. He spoke English, Spanish, and Arabic as well as his native Italian, and was passionate about the world and traveling, according to family friends.

Regeni’s parents arrived in the Egyptian capital on February 1st from Fiumicello, the small town not far from Trieste where Giulio spent much of his youth. Federica Guidi, Minister of Economic Development, cancelled her appearance at a trade conference in Cairo to meet with the grieving family following the confirmation of their son’s death. The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (La Farnesina) has begun investigating the case, seeking to determine whether it was an abduction, a robbery gone wrong, or even terrorism. Paolo Gentiloni, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, stated in a letter to Egyptian authorities on Wednesday that the Italian government asks for “the maximum effort on the part of the police to reveal the truth and determine the facts, and the coordination of an investigation with Italian experts.”

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About Zachary Vogt

Zachary Vogt is originally from Washington, D.C., and received his undergraduate degree in Italian Studies at the University of Virginia. After graduation he moved to Italy to work at the U.S. Pavilion at Expo Milan 2015, serving as a Student Ambassador. Following completion of his M.A. in Italian Studies at NYU Florence, he plans to pursue a doctorate in Italian, concentrating on issues of immigration and demography.

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