Pubblichiamo l’appello dei colleghi e delle colleghe di Giulio Regeni, partito dall’Università di Cambridge, perché si scopra la verità sulla sua morte e si faccia giustizia. Sotto, trovate la traduzione del testo in italiano. È possibile sottoscrivere la lettera qui. A seguire il documento dell’ISA (International Sociological Association) – Research Commitee on Social Classes and Social Movements e quello della Middle East Studies Association (MESA).

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Open letter of protest over the death of Giulio Regeni, forced disappearances and torture in Egypt

Open letter to Egyptian President Abdelfattah al-Sisi

To be offered to The Guardian and the Italian media for publication and sent to the Egyptian authorities via the embassies in London and Rome.

As members of the wider academic community of which Giulio Regeni was a part, we were deeply saddened to learn of his death. Our community has been enriched by his presence. We are diminished by the loss of a young researcher whose work tackled questions which are vitally important to our understanding of contemporary Egyptian society. Our thoughts go out first of all to his family and friends at this acutely painful moment.

We are appalled to hear prosecutors in Egypt report that there were extensive signs of torture on his body. Those of us who knew of Giulio’s disappearance before the discovery of his body were desperately concerned for his safety because he vanished in the midst of a security campaign which has resulted in mass arbitrary arrests, a dramatic increase in reports of torture within police stations, and other cases of disappearances, according to documentation by local and international human rights organisations. While we welcome the statement by Egyptian Ambassador to Italy, Amr Helmy, that the Egyptian authorities will fully investigate Giulio’s death, we note that according to Amnesty International, bodies reporting to the Egyptian Ministry of the Interior and the Egyptian Ministry of Defence routinely practice the same kinds of torture that Giulio is reported to have suffered against hundreds of Egyptian citizens each year.

We therefore call on the Egyptian authorities to cooperate with an independent and impartial investigation into all instances of forced disappearances, cases of torture and deaths in detention during January and February 2016, alongside any ongoing investigations by criminal prosecutors into Giulio’s death, in order that those responsible for these crimes can be identified and brought to justice.

Dr. Anne Alexander (University of Cambridge)
Dr. Maha Abdelrahman (University of Cambridge)

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Traduzione italiana

Lettera aperta di protesta per la morte di Giulio Regeni, sparizioni forzate e torture in Egitto

Lettera aperta al presidente egiziano Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

Inviata a The Guardian e ai media italiani per la pubblicazione e alle autorità egiziane tramite le ambasciate di Londra e Roma

Come membri della comunità accademica di cui Giulio Regeni faceva parte, siamo rimasti profondamente colpiti e addolorati dalla notizia della sua morte. La nostra comunità si è arricchita con la sua presenza. Ora ci sentiamo privati dalla perdita di un giovane ricercatore il cui lavoro affrontava questioni che sono di vitale importanza per la comprensione della società egiziana contemporanea. Il nostro pensiero va prima di tutto alla sua famiglia e agli amici, in questo momento particolarmente doloroso.

Siamo sconvolti dal fatto che il pubblico ministero egiziano dichiari che ci sono stati ampi segni di tortura sul suo corpo. Coloro che erano a conoscenza della scomparsa di Giulio prima della scoperta del suo corpo erano assai preoccupati per la sua sicurezza, dal momento che è scomparso nel bel mezzo di una campagna di sicurezza che ha portato ad arresti arbitrari di massa, un drammatico aumento di casi di tortura all’interno di stazioni di polizia, e altri casi di sparizioni, secondo la documentazione delle organizzazioni locali e internazionali per i diritti umani. Mentre accogliamo con favore la dichiarazione dell’ambasciatore egiziano in Italia, Amr Helmy, secondo la quale le autorità egiziane indagheranno pienamente sulla morte di Giulio, notiamo che, secondo Amnesty International, reparti legati al Ministero egiziano degli Interni e al Ministero della Difesa egiziano sono usi a praticare la stesso tipo di tortura subita da Giulio contro centinaia di cittadini egiziani di ogni anno. Invitiamo pertanto le autorità egiziane a cooperare con un’indagine indipendente e imparziale in tutti i casi di sparizioni forzate, i casi di torture e morti in detenzione nei mesi di gennaio e febbraio 2016 e a collaborare a eventuali indagini in corso da parte dei magistrati penali sulla morte di Giulio, in modo che i responsabili di questi crimini possano essere identificati e assicurati alla giustizia.

Dr. Anne Alexander (University of Cambridge)
Dr. Maha Abdelrahman (University of Cambridge)



2. Comunicato dell’ISA-RC47 “Social Movements”

Dear colleagues from the ISA47,
It is very sad news to learn the forced disappearance, torture and murder of our young colleague Giulio Reguini. He was conducting a doctoral research on independent trade unions in Egypt at the University of Cambridge under the supervision of our distinguished colleague Maha Abdelrahaman, who will chair the ISA47 panel on social movements and repression in the Arab world at the 2016 ISA Forum in Vienna.
Peace movements and activists for democracy are the strongest enemies of authoritarian regimes and violence – and the answer to war, as Mary Kaldor wrote. In the first five weeks of 2016, it has become everyday clearer that they have also become the direct targets of authoritarian governments’ repression. In Turkey, several of our colleagues have been jailed and various members of our ISA research committee 47 are under threat because they claimed that there is another way than authoritarian regimes or terror. The forced disappearance, the torture and the murder of our young colleague Giulio Reguini shows us that things are getting worse every day.
Instead of diffusing researchers’ work and publications, the role of an ISA Research Committee on social movements has suddenly become to diffuse information on the imprisonments threats and now torture and assassination of our colleagues. As social movement scholars, to reclaim the truth and justice for what happens to our colleague is a first duty. I would thus encourage all of you to read, sign, support and diffuse the short statement by our colleagues Anne Alexander and Maha Abdelrahman that you will find below this message.
The disappearance of Giulio Reguini may be one of the saddest, but it is not isolated news. In the first five weeks of the year, there has been a succession of calls, letters, testimonies and petitions to denounce repression against our colleagues. In 2016, to be social scientists and to work on and with social movements has become a risky occupation and duty (‘Beruf’ as Weber said) in many countries. It is however more necessary and important than ever. As social movement scholars, we have to gather information and conduct researcher and analyses to better understand our times and to point to the local, national and international forces, supports and mechanisms that have produced a world in which peaceful activists and social scientists have become targets of repressive regimes, supported by international allies.
We need to dedicate more space and energy to conducting, discussing and diffusing research on state repression in authoritarian regimes, but also in Western countries. “Open Movements” platform has published important analyses of authoritarian state repression against social movements in Egypt, Turkey, China, and Mexico among others. More analyses are needed and more time should be dedicated to these issues in our future meetings.
Finally, as social movement scholars, we know the importance of collective action and mobilization. I hope that we will be able to take initiatives to ring the alarm bell and mobilize more broadly the academic community, starting with the International Sociological Association and our own universities, to demand truth and justice for Giulio Reguini, the liberation of our Turkish colleagues and to show that an international community of scholars stands with our colleagues, oppose the repression they suffer and defend academic freedom. Indeed, as Neil Pyper wrote, “Giulio Regeni’s murder is a direct challenge to the academic freedom”.
Geoffrey Pleyers
University of Louvain
ISA-RC47 “Social Movements”

3.  Lettera di protesta del Middle East Studies Association (Mesa)

His Excellency Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
President, Arab Republic of Egypt
‘Abdin Palace
Cairo, Egypt
Fax: +20-2-390-1998

His Excellency Sameh Shoukry
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Fax: +20-2-576-7967

Major-General Magdy Abdul Ghaffar
Minister of the Interior
Fax: +20-2-796-0682

Your Excellencies President al-Sisi, Major-General Abdul Ghaffar, and Mr. Shoukry:

We write to you on behalf of the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) to express our outrage regarding the news of the apparent torture and murder of Giulio Regeni, an Italian student from Cambridge University, who disappeared in Cairo on 25 January and whose body was found on a road outside Cairo on 3 February.

MESA was founded in 1966 to promote scholarship and teaching on the Middle East and North Africa. The preeminent organization in the field, the Association publishes the International Journal of Middle East Studies and has nearly 3,000 members worldwide. MESA is committed to ensuring academic freedom and freedom of expression, both within the region and in connection with the study of the region in North America and elsewhere.

Mr Regeni, a PhD student at the Department of Politics and International Studies (Polis) at the University of Cambridge, was a visiting scholar at the American University in Cairo (AUC). According to news and other sources, he left his apartment at 8 pm on 25 January with the intention of taking the metro from Duqqi to Bab al-Louq to meet a friend, but never arrived.

We understand that, although initial statements from your government attributed Mr. Regeni’s death to a robbery gone awry or a traffic accident, State Prosecutor Ahmed Nagi has now admitted that there were signs of torture on the body, including cigarette burns and knife wounds.

Even were this case an isolated incident, it would demand a thorough investigation to identify those responsible and bring them to justice. However, what makes this case even more disturbing is that it is but the most recent, if the most deadly, example of the growing danger posed by the current political climate in Egypt to all those engaged in academic work. We have written to you repeatedly over the past months to express our deep concern regarding a range and number of violations of academic freedom and freedom of expression that would require countless pages to list in full*:

denial of entry to the country and harassment of numerous scholars and researchers;
gross state interference in university student and faculty governance;
the dismissals and expulsions of hundreds of students and faculty;
the sentencing of academics to death.

Now, an academic has been brutally murdered.

In the past cases, we have respectfully requested your attention to these matters in keeping with international norms regarding academic freedom, various provisions of Egyptian law, and international treaties to which your government is a signatory.

However, the climate of repression and intimidation in which our colleagues in Egypt – Egyptian and non-Egyptian—have tried to persevere in conducting their academic work has only continued to deteriorate. Indeed, Regeni’s murder, far from an aberration, is in fact a predictable outcome of the progression of state repression of academics and students.

As a result, Giulio Regeni’s case requires of us that in this letter we demand of your government, a full and impartial investigation of his death, and the arrest and prosecution of those responsible.

We await your response.

Yours sincerely,

Beth Baron
MESA President
Professor, City University of New York

Laurie A. Brand
CAF Chair
Professor, University of Southern California








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