Italian student criticized Sisi in newspaper articles - and was found dead

February 5, 2016 21:03
1 minute read.

An Italian student found dead by a roadside in Cairo with cigarette burns and other signs of torture on his body had written articles critical of the Egyptian government, according to the Italian newspaper that published them.

Il Manifesto, a historic left-wing newspaper based in Rome, published Giulio Regeni's final article on Friday, written by the 28-year-old graduate student before his Jan. 25 disappearance. His body was found on Wednesday.

The article describes the difficulties faced by independent unions in Egypt under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. The paper ran it on the front page under the headline "The Witness."

"President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi presides over the Egyptian parliament with the highest number of police and military personnel in the history of the country, and Egypt ranks among the worst offenders with respect to press freedom," Regeni wrote in the first paragraph of the story.

"He feared for his safety," the newspaper said, explaining that Regeni asked to use a pseudonym on this article and on his previous articles, which were also critical of Sisi's government. Regeni did not mention any specific threats.

"We do not know who his assassins were or why they committed this crime," the newspaper added. "But we ask for the truth."

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