Egypt risks European sanctions for not cooperating with Italy
On Friday, the European Parliament passed a resolution calling for an independent and transparent investigation into all human rights violations in Egypt to ensure that those responsible are held accountable. The resolution cites the cases of two Italian researchers: Giulio Regeni, killed mysteriously in Alexandria, and Patrick George Zaki, arrested by Egyptian authorities for months.
In the text, passed with 434 yes, 49 against, and 202 abstentions, the EU urges Cairo to collaborate and provide the residential addresses of the four investigated agents, as required by Italian judiciary, and expresses “political and human support” to the Regeni family in their search for truth. As for Zaki, the EU asks for his immediate release to avoid financial sanctions.
The Italian Foreign Minister, Luigi Di Maio, recently spoke about the Regeni case in Bologna, saying that Italy expects a “stance” on human rights for the Regeni affair from “all European institutions.” Di Maio announced that the case will be subject of discussion at the Foreign Affairs Council on 25 January, and this “will allow all member states to take a stand.” Speaking in Bologna at the Tecnopolo headquarters, the Foreign Minister stressed Italy does not retreat on human rights. He accused the Government of Abdul Fatah Al-Sisi not to collaborate to clarify the dynamics of the murder and torture, also hiding facts, videos, and evidence to protect the security officers who massacred him.
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From Brussels, a spokeswoman for Josep Borrell stated that the EU High Representative received a letter from the Italian Foreign Ministry on the Regeni case. The spokesperson reiterated the EU’s full support for the Italian authorities. “The issue could be addressed in the context of the next meeting of foreign ministers,” she said, recalling that the EU continues to follow the Regeni case. “We have always raised the case in our bilateral meetings and contacts, asking the Egyptian Government to cooperate fully with the Italian authorities to clarify the circumstances of the death.” She continued.
From Bologna, the city where Patrick Zaki was studying before being arrested by the Egyptian regime security forces, Di Maio recalled that even though he is an Egyptian citizen, the government “cares about his case as if he were Italian.” The crisis is followed with the utmost attention by the Italian public opinion and governments. “Working in silence does not mean not working, but reaching the goal,” Di Maio said.
The head of Roma’s diplomacy recalled how, in the last year, all the seven Italian citizens kidnapped abroad have returned to their homeland. Also, Di Maio recalled the fishermen’s affair of Mazara del Vallo solution, released yesterday from Eastern Libya authorities of Khalifa Haftar.It is clear that if President Al-Sisi does not collaborate with Italy, the European Union could soon announce sanctions in addition to losing millions of dollars in aid from the United States with the arrival of Joe Biden.