The Italian embassy in Cairo was engulfed in a sombre mood on Saturday as dozens of people gathered to mourn an Italian student who was killed in Cairo.
Flowers & candles for 28 y.o. Italian student Giulio Regeni, found dead in Egypt after being kidnapped & tortured. pic.twitter.com/fcr4hBZohO— Alex Ortiz (@azortiz) February 6, 2016
The student was mourned by a group of about 50 people who gathered in front of the embassy on Saturday, laying flowers and lighting candles.
Identified as Giulio Regeni, his body was found half naked at a roadside and according to authorities it bore cigarette marks and other signs of torture.
Regeni who was a Cambridge University doctoral student went missing in Cairo on January 25, as the country marked the the fifth anniversary of the uprising that ended Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule.
His research had focused on trade unions in Egypt after the 2011 uprising and he had also written articles critical of the Egyptian government under a pseudonym, according to the Italian newspaper that published them.
There will be no accountability –– Italian student killed in Egypt criticized Cairo govt. in articles https://t.co/Nx3jde1EQU Reuters— سلطان سعود القاسمي (@SultanAlQassemi) February 5, 2016
“Giulio was here fighting for the rights of Egyptian workers, and for the Egyptian revolution. The least we can do is stand here and say that we consider him to be one of us,” said Sally Toma, an Activist.
Tensions had been high in the north African country in the run-up to the anniversary of Arab spring uprising .
Police had detained activists and warned people not to demonstrate. No significant protests took place.
On Thursday, the Italian Foreign Ministry summoned the Egyptian ambassador to express concern about the student’s death, and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi telephoned President Fattah el-Sisi, asking for a joint investigation and the swift return of his body to Italy.
According to rights groups, Egyptians are often detained by police on little evidence and beaten. Scores of people have disappeared since 2013 .
However, Egyptian authorities have continued to deny allegations of police brutality.