Letter from Giulio Regeni’s parents to Al Sisi

Good morning president Al Sisi,

we are Giulio Regeni’s parents, the researcher who was kidnapped, tortured and killed in Cairo. In march 2016, on this same newspaper, you talked to us as a “father, before being a president”, and promised that “we will spread light and get to the truth, we will work with the Italian authorities to give justice and to punish the criminals who killed your son”.

Three years have gone by. There has not been any real collaboration from the Egyptian legal authorities and, after the Italian public prosecutor’s office placed five men of your security apparatus on the list of persons under investigation, the Egyptian public prosecutor’s office interrupted the dialogue.

Today we know that Giulio was kidnapped by the officials of your security apparatus, and we know this thanks to the continuous work of the Italian investigators and prosecutors, and of our lawyers.

You failed your promise.

You have limitless power, as we understand from the media.

So, it is hard to believe that the people who kidnapped, tortured and killed our son Giulio, the people who lied, digged up dirt on his person, the ones who organized countless misdirections, murdered five innocent men blamed for Giulio’s death, all these people acted without you knowing, or against your will.

We cannot be satisfied by your condolences anymore, nor by your failed promises.

Mister general, you know well that a man’s strength, and even more a president’s power, cannot be based on fear, but on respect. And you cannot ask for respect if you fail the promise you gave to us parents, and to a country that cries the loss of one of its sons.

Giulio, you know it well, was a peace messenger.

Giulio loved the Egyptian people: he learned your language, he stayed in Cairo many times, trying to live like an Egyptian. But he died like many Egyptians die today, unfortunately.

Mister president, you say you understand our grief, but the torment which has been destroying us for 39 months cannot be imagined.

But you can imagine our determination, the same determination we share with thousands of people in the world. We are a multitude, strict and relentless.

Until this barbarism will be unpunished, until all the guilty ones, regarless of their roles or job, will not be brought to the Italian justice, no-one in the world can stay in your country and feel safe. And where safety lacks there cannot be neither friendship nor peace.

Mister president, you have the chance to show the world that you are a man of honor: bring the five persons under investigation to the Italian justice, let our public prosecutors interrogate them, show the world that is watching you that you have nothing to hide. You have the privilege and the chance to give justice, wasting them would be unforgivable….

Hoping that truth and justice may triumph,

Paola and Claudio Regeni

This letter has been published in the Italian newspaper ٍRepubblica