The European Union Parliament condemned the deteriorating human rights record in Egypt citing the torture and assassination of an EU national, Giulio Regeni, in the country under suspicious circumstances.
In a non-binding resolution, the EP denounced the “abduction, savage torture and killing” of the Italian doctoral student researching on Egyptian trade unions.
He was last seen alive in public during the January 25 revolution anniversary before being found dead more than a week later on a roadside. Egyptian authorities have denied that their security forces played a role in it.
The EU parliament stressed that the case is “not an isolated accident” because it is “set against a backdrop of growing suspicion around foreign visitors” and also sends “a chilling message” to Europeans and beyond. It added that the murder is a “wakeup call” for the EU. Cairo doesn’t seem to be surprised as a source at the foreign ministry said “I can’t say we are shocked, as we knew that it was coming.”
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi vowed that they won’t accept “easy truths” as authorities described the murder as “something inhuman, animal-like, an unacceptable violence.”
Passing strongly worded statements or critical resolutions against Egypt have proved to be challenging in the European parliament but the statement released on Thursday underlined that “the continued, high level of repression in Egypt proscribes any ‘business as usual’ approach” before calling for a review of relations.
EU Ambassador to Egypt, James Moran, lamented about the “confusing” details surrounding the murder.
The resolution called on EU member states to refrain from helping the North African country develop its security capabilities in the frame of the joint counterterrorism fight because it is “short-sighted and delusional.”