Vice-Chancellor backs Dr Abdelrahman
He finds unfounded efforts to implicate her ‘disturbing’
C/N- mentions of murder, death and violence
The Vice-Chancellor, Stephen J Toope, has released a fresh statement of support for Dr Abdelrahman, who has been a victim of great public speculation following the death of her student Giulio Regeni. There is no evidence that she is linked to the case, but is being treated as a 'witness in this investigation' and she has been fully co-operative when dealing with the police. Toope remarks 'in light of her willingness to assist, the public campaign of denigration, fanned by political expediency, is shameful.'
He begins the statement expressing acknowledgement for 'the deep pain experienced by Giulio's family, which nothing can relieve' and 'the sense of hurt and outrage' in the university describing his murder as 'an affront to all of us.'
Toope defends Dr Abdelrahaman as 'an honourable and distinguished scholar'. He notes that 'Public speculation about Dr Abdelrahman's involvement in the case has been inaccurate, damaging and potentially dangerous.'
He alludes to the catalyst of the scrutiny, an article in Italy's 'La Repubblica', which accused Dr Abdelrahman of pushing a reluctant Regeni towards a topic she knew was dangerous. Toope points out that such accusations 'demonstrates a lack of understanding of scholarly aims and methods. It shows a failure to understand the intellectual relationship between a PhD student and his or her supervisor.'
He highlights how 'the University has sought all opportunities- public and private, formal and informal- to push for progress in the investigation into Giulio's death' and 'has been respectful of legal constraints (including the ability to comment publicly) posed by the continuing legal process'. He expresses a desire 'to see the same restraint' to be taken 'in other domains, where the confidentiality of the legal process has been blatantly ignored.'
The University is not providing further comment at this point, allowing Toope's statement to speak for itself.