University officials condemned by senior Italian minister over Regeni murder

Cambridge University faces the wrath of Italian government over claims that the University did not cooperate with the search for justice for Giulio Regeni.

anger Cambridge Cambridge University egypt girton college guilio regeni Italy Student

Mario Giro, the Italian deputy minister of foreign affairs, accused the university of failing to cooperate with the investigation into the brutal murder of Cambridge PhD student, Giulio Regeni. 

It has been reported by Varsity that university officials today responded to these claims.

Last week, an inflammatory tweet from Giro sparked fury amongst University officials. In his tweet, Giro declared “you value more your “secret researches” than a human life. What are you hiding?”

Screenshot of Mario Giro's tweet

Mario Giro’s tweet

The senior minister’s criticisms of the University’s response to Regeni’s murder have been rebuked as “false and distressing claims”.

In a statement which addresses the mounting attacks upon the University over the Regeni case, officials confirmed that Cambridge University is “fully committed to assisting the Italian investigation”.

In response to claims that university officials are stalling the murder case over conflicts of self-interest, a spokesperson for the University clarified: “We understand the frustration of Italian prosecutors with the conclusions that have been put forward so far by the Egyptian authorities. The University has pressed the Egyptian authorities to explain Giulio’s death.”

Despite the tensions between Italian government officials and the University, the statement also highlighted that University authorities have “backed the Italian government’s efforts to find the truth.”

Giulio Regeni, 28, disappeared in Egypt in February of this year, whilst carrying out research about Egyptian labour unions for his PhD.  His body was discovered a short time later, with evidence of appalling torture inflicted upon him prior to his death.

Since that time, little progress has been made in bringing to justice the perpetrators of this brutal murder.


Regini was described as a “gifted and passionate student”

In addressing the inadequacy of the Egyptian investigation into Regeni’s death, the statement from the University derided the “wild and unfounded speculation” which “undermines efforts to bring to justice those who killed him”. The statement presented Regeni’s death “not just a tragedy for the family, but an assault on academic freedom”.

The university’s response to Giro’s public attack demonstrates an escalation of tensions between senior Italian officials and Cambridge, which has come to undercut the pleas for justice and closure for the family of Giulio Regeni.