Justice for Giulio: Take action on forced disappearances and torture in Egypt

The torture and murder of Giulio Regeni, an Italian doctoral student at the University of Cambridge, during a research visit to Cairo, has thrown a spotlight onto the hundreds of cases of forced disappearances and torture in Egypt. Thousands of people around the world have signed petitions and statements calling for justice, and more pressure will be needed to stop a cover-up by the Egyptian authorities.

This page brings together resources and background materials on Giulio’s case and will be updated regularly with new campaigning initiatives.

Take action now

Week of action: 15-20 May

Students and staff at Cambridge University, together with local trade unionists and residents are organising a week of activities to keep the pressure up for truth for Giulio, justice for Egypt’s disappeared.
Find out more about Cambridge events via the Cambridge University Amnesty International Facebook page
Not in Cambridge? You can still take part – download a poster below and organise a photo call to share online via Egypt Solidarity Initiative or CUAI
[ truth_for_giulio_A4poster_colour] [truth_for_giulio_A4poster_bw ]

UK citizens:

  • Circulate this email appeal for signatures as widely as possible. “Please take action today in support of the campaign for justice for Giulio Regeni, a student at the University of Cambridge who was tortured and murdered in Cairo while carrying out research for his PhD. Under pressure from the public, UK Ambassador to Egypt John Casson put Giulio’s case on the agenda for discussions between Egyptian officials and a UK parliamentary delegation on 7 March but much more needs to be done to prevent a whitewash by the Egyptian authorities. The police officer leading the Egyptian investigation is himself a convicted torturer. Giulio’s friends and colleagues are calling on the British government to make a statement explaining what steps it will take in order to ensure that Giulio’s murder is properly investigated. We need to reach 10,000 signatures for an official response. Sign online here and share widely: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/120832. Find more resources and campaigning materials online here: https://egyptsolidarityinitiative.org/justice-for-giulio”
  • Send a letter to your local MP (see below for draft text: easy to copy-paste into a word document and sign, or download a word version here Model_letter_to_MPs_re_Giulio_Regeni)
  • .Share the draft letter to MPs with friends who are sympathetic to the cause.
  • Tweet, email and call individual MPs, asking them to support this early day motion for debate in Parliament: http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2015-16/1169

EU citizens:


Statements and letters:


Trade unions

Useful press coverage

Torture and forced disappearances in Egypt – background

The Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms documented 340 cases of enforced disappearance between August and November 2015 alone. In many cases victims reappeared in police custody, although some were found dead. The ECRF identified the National Security Agency, which reports to the Ministry of the Interior, and the Military Intelligence Department of the Armed Forces, as being involved in many cases of abduction and torture.

El Nadeem Centre, a well-known Egyptian human rights NGO which supports victims of torture, is also involved in documenting cases of forced disappearance, torture and deaths in detention. For January 2016 the Centre reported on 195 deaths, 42 cases of torture, including 8 people who were tortured to death, 60 cases of medical neglect, 20 cases of group violence by the police, 66 forced disappearances, while 32 people were reported to have reappeared in various places of detention, in some cases months after they vanished.

Amnesty International’s work has highlighted many horrific examples of torture in Egyptian police stations. The police station in the Cairo district of Al-Mattariyya has a particularly violent track record: three detainees died there from torture and neglect in the space of a single week in late February 2015. According to El Nadeem Centre a total of 7 detainees died in Al-Mattariyya during 2015.

Disappeared who emerge in police detention or in prison are not safe from abuse. El Nadeem’s figures for January 2016 include 11 cases of death in prisons and police stations as a result of medical neglect.

The Egyptian Ministry of Health has ordered the closure of El Nadeem. According to the World Organisation Against Torture this is specifically related to El Nadeem’s work collecting and publishing reports of torture.


Draft letter to be sent to any Member of the UK Parliament
(copy and paste into a word document)

Postal Address


Dear *****

I am writing about Giulio Regeni, the Cambridge doctoral student whose body was found on February 3rd in a ditch in Cairo showing signs of torture and slow death. Before his brutal murder Giulio had spent 10 years living, working, and studying in the UK.

Egyptian prosecutors and Italian investigators have confirmed that Giulio was tortured for several days before dying from a broken neck[1]. The gruesome manner of his death makes it imperative that the perpetrators be brought to justice.

Reports by local and international rights groups make clear that Egypt is in the midst of a human rights emergency. Hundreds of Egyptians have allegedly been subjected to intimidation, arbitrary arrest, unfair trials, torture, enforced disappearances, and death[2].

To date, prosecutions have been few. Human Rights Watch, in its comprehensive January 2016 report, cites an Egyptian law firm that said it filed 163 complaints with prosecutors over the use of torture, but only seven reached the courts.[3]

While I welcome the Egyptian authorities’ stated commitment[4] to cooperate with Italy on the investigation into Giulio’s murder, I believe that as Giulio was a student of a British university and had lived in the UK for 10 years, the UK government also has a responsibility to secure justice for Giulio and his family.  There is already a UK parliamentary campaign asking for this: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/120832

Students at our universities need to know that they will not face such violence while travelling as part of their studies. Moreover, the authorities in countries where such risks exist need to be aware that the UK government will not tolerate harm befalling a student from a UK university.

In an effort to minimise the possibility of others suffering the same fate as Giulio I ask the UK government to:

Urge the Egyptian authorities to ensure an independent, impartial investigation into Giulio’s death

I would be grateful if you would press the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, the Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, to take this action.


I would also very much appreciate if you could support this motion for debate in Parliament: http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2015-16/1169

Yours sincerely



[1] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/egypt/12145257/Italian-Cambridge-PhD-student-suffered-inhuman-animal-like-violence-before-his-death-in-Egypt.html

[2] http://www.madamasr.com/news/nadeem-center-egypt%E2%80%99s-security-forces-killed-474-people-2015

[3] https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2016/country-chapters/egypt

[4] http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/186774/Egypt/Politics-/President-Sisi-speaks-with-Italian-prime-minister.aspx