Open letter of protest over the death of Giulio Regeni, forced disappearances and torture in Egypt

SIGNATURES ARE NOW CLOSED - THANK YOU TO OVER 4500 COLLEAGUES WHO HAVE SIGNED THE LETTER. Please use the form at the bottom to be kept informed about the next steps in the campaign including the call for an international conference on the issue of enforced disappearances in Egypt.

Open letter to Egyptian President Abdelfattah al-Sisi
To be offered to The Guardian and the Italian media for publication and sent to the Egyptian authorities via the embassies in London and Rome

As members of the wider academic community of which Giulio Regeni was a part, we were deeply saddened to learn of his death. Our community has been enriched by his presence. We are diminished by the loss of a young researcher whose work tackled questions which are vitally important to our understanding of contemporary Egyptian society. Our thoughts go out first of all to his family and friends at this acutely painful moment.

We are appalled to hear prosecutors in Egypt report that there were extensive signs of torture on his body. Those of us who knew of Giulio's disappearance before the discovery of his body were desperately concerned for his safety because he vanished in the midst of a security campaign which has resulted in mass arbitrary arrests, a dramatic increase in reports of torture within police stations, and other cases of disappearances, according to documentation by local and international human rights organisations. While we welcome the statement by Egyptian Ambassador to Italy, Amr Helmy, that the Egyptian authorities will fully investigate Giulio's death, we note that according to Amnesty International, bodies reporting to the Egyptian Ministry of the Interior and the Egyptian Ministry of Defence routinely practice the same kinds of torture that Giulio is reported to have suffered against hundreds of Egyptian citizens each year.

We therefore call on the Egyptian authorities to cooperate with an independent and impartial investigation into all instances of forced disappearances, cases of torture and deaths in detention during January and February 2016, alongside any ongoing investigations by criminal prosecutors into Giulio's death, in order that those responsible for these crimes can be identified and brought to justice.

Dr Andrea Teti, University of Aberdeen
Dr Anne Alexander University of Cambridge
Professor Linda Clarke University of Westminster
Dr Glen Rangwala University of Cambridge
Dr Devon Curtis University of Cambridge
Dr Graham Denyer Willis University of Cambridge
Professor Willy Brown, University of Cambridge
Professor Anna Maria Gentili, University of Bologna
Professor Isabella Camera d’Afflitto, La Sapienza university, Rome
Professor Maria Rosaria Stabili, University of Rome-III
Professor Stefano Allievi, University of Padua
Professor Gilbert Achcar SOAS, University of London
Dr Maha Abdelrahman University of Cambridge
Prof Laleh Khalili SOAS, University of London
Dr Nicola Pratt Warwick
Associate Professor John Chalcraft LSE
Dr Elizabeth Lawrence President, University and Colleges Union
Prof. Yezid Sayigh Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Professor Cheryl McEwan Durham University
Dr Ella McPherson Cambridge
Professsor Bertell Ollman New York Unversity
prof. Dr. Donatella Della Porta Scuola normale superiore
Dr Sharath Srinivasan University of Cambridge
Dr Amira Bennison Cambridge
Prof Jocelyn Alexander University of Oxford
Prof Clément Mouhot University of Cambridge
Professor Bridget Anderson University of Oxford
Professor Patrick Baert University of Cambridge
Professor Jack Goldstone George Mason University
Professor emeritus Raymond Geuss Cambridge
Professor Nicola Gardini University of Oxford
Professor Jeremy Johns University of Oxford
FBA Professor Cecile Laborde UCL
Prof. Dr. Dr. Marcel van der Linden Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences
Professor Nadje Al-Ali SOAS University of London
Dr Charles Jones University of Cambridge
Prof Annelies Moors University of Amsterdam
Professor Ray Bush University of Leeds
Professor Alfredo Saad Filho SOAS University of London
Paola Caridi Journalist and Independent scholar, Italy
Emeritus Professor Charles Butterworth University of Maryland
Prof Mark LeVine UC Irvine
Professor Alex Callinicos King's College London
Associate Professor Daniela Pioppi University of Naples L'Orientale
Associate Professor Sandro Mezzadra University of Bologna
Andreina De Clementi Italy
Emeritus Professor Anna Maria Gentili University of Bologna
and over 4500 others

A full list of signatures will published online shortly and a selection with the letter will be offered to the Guardian newspaper for publication and to the Italian media.


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