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Italy demands justice for student murdered in Egypt

Italy demanded on Monday that Egypt catch and punish those responsible for the death of student Giulio Regeni, whose tortured body was found in a roadside ditch in Cairo last week.

Regeni, 28, was a graduate student at Cambridge University. He had been researching independent trade unions in Egypt and had written articles critical of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.

The incident has strained relations between Rome and Cairo.

“We want the real perpetrators to be discovered and punished according to the law,” Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni told La Repubblica newspaper on Monday. He said Italy “will not be satisfied with suppositions” to explain the death.

Cambridge University has said it wrote to the Egyptian authorities to demand a full investigation into Regeni’s death.

An initial autopsy in Egypt showed Regeni was burned with cigarettes, hit on the back of the head with a sharp instrument and beaten, according to a senior official at the Cairo public prosecutor’s office and a forensic doctor. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter with the media.

A second autopsy in Italy “confronted us with something inhuman, something animal,” Interior Minister Angelino Alfano told Sky News 24 on Sunday. “It was like a punch in the stomach, and we haven’t quite got our breath back yet.”

Italian media said the second autopsy confirmed that Regeni’s neck had been broken. It has not been formally confirmed.

Italian opposition parties have demanded that Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s government take a tougher stand with Egypt.

“The death of Giulio Regeni, who was tortured to death, is still opaque and shrouded in shadows,” said the opposition Five Star party. “We demand the truth.”

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