Italy has called on European Union countries to join it in pressing the Egyptian authorities to immediately release Egyptian activist and researcher at Bologna University, Patrick Zaki, saying it feared he is being subjected to torture.
Last Friday, Egyptian security forces arrested Zaki, 27, a researcher for the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), upon his arrival at Cairo International Airport to visit his family.
On Monday, Peppe De Christofaro, Italian Under-Secretary for Education expressed “deep concern” for Zaki.
“We have well-founded fear that the young Egyptian researcher… is currently suffering arbitrary and unjustified detention and that he is a new victim of violence and abuse from the Egyptian security forces,” he said.
The Italian official stressed that “everything must be done to avoid a repetition of unacceptable scenes of torture.”
Zaki is accused of “spreading false news, inciting demonstrations and attempting to overthrow regime.”
Since October six EIPR staff members have been temporarily detained and questioned, according to a statement on the human rights organisation’s website.