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Regeni case: In Egypt, no one is safe, says CFJ director

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News briefing: 

Translated and edited by: Committee for Justice

Geneva: December 22, 2020

The Executive Director of the Committee for Justice (CFJ) Ahmed Mefreh, said in press statements that there is no security in Egypt, because there is no accountability for violations and crimes committed by state officials.

In an interview with the Africa Report, published Monday, commenting on recent developments on the Giulio Regeni case, Mefreh said:

“The bottom line is that no one is safe in Egypt, and that there is no accountability to crimes committed by state officials. There is an Egyptian proverb that says: ‘Those who fear no punishment will misbehave’. In the case of Regeni’s brutal killing, the Italian and Egyptian regimes still have diplomatic relations and arms deals, while regional interests always prevail over human rights, and [President Abdelfattah] al-Sisi knows this well.”

If you want someone to disappear, never to see them again, you send them to Egypt, he added.

The report cited CFJ’s latest statistics on deaths in detention centres in Egypt. It said that, according to CFJ, some 1,058 people were killed in detention centres between June 2013 and October 2020. In 2020 alone, the number of deaths increased by 100 cases compared to a decline in 2019.

Of the 1058 killed, 761, or 71.9%, were caused by denial of health care. Death from torture accounted for 144, or 13.5% of cases, and 67, or 6% died from suicide. Poor detention conditions killed some 57, or 5%.The website has published a detailed report on the developments of the case of the Italian master’s student Giulio Regeni, whose body was found on the outskirts of Cairo in 2016, after the Italian prosecutor charged four Egyptian security officials, one of them with the rank of major general.

The site cited CFJ’s report about deaths in prisons and detention centers in Egypt titled: “The Giulio Regenis Of Egypt: Deaths In Custody In Egypt Since 2013.”

In its report, the CFJ has called on Egyptian authorities to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, to activate the constitutional texts that criminalize torture crimes, to arrest the officers, officials, and supervisors of torture and enforced disappearances, and to hold them accountable.

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