Giulio Regeni: Government 'appalled" by Cambridge student's Egypt murder

Online campaign poster after Giulio Regeni went missing in Cairo Image copyright AP
Image caption This poster was put online in the days after Mr Regeni went missing

The UK government has said it is "appalled" by the murder of a Cambridge University student in Egypt.

The body of Italian Giulio Regeni, which showed signs of torture, was found dumped near Cairo on 3 February.

A Foreign Office statement condemned "the brutal manner of his killing" and went on to say it was "disappointed by the limited progress made in the case".

The comments came after an official petition demanding UK government intervention gained 10,000 signatures.

The 28-year-old student had been researching trade unions, a politically sensitive subject in Egypt, when he went missing in Cairo on 25 January.

His body was found at a roadside nine days later.

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No-one has been arrested over Mr Regeni's death, although last month Egyptian authorities claimed to have found a criminal gang responsible for his kidnapping and murder. All the gang members were killed in a shoot-out, they said.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Vigils have been held around the world by supporters demanding justice for the murdered student

The claim was branded "implausible and risible" by a number of academics who have been pressing the UK government to intervene in the case.

After a petition demanding clarification on "what action it will take to ensure a credible investigation into Giulio's murder" was signed by more than 10,000 people, the government was compelled to respond.

Image copyright Ministry of Information, Egypt
Image caption Egypt's interior ministry said police found a bag belonging to the student, containing identity documents, in a flat connected to a gang

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office statement released on Monday evening said the government was "appalled" by the murder of Mr Regeni, who had been living in the UK for 10 years.

"We have offered the Italian government our full support and have remained in close contact with them throughout in order to co-ordinate our efforts with theirs and ensure that UK actions do not inhibit or complicate their engagement with the Egyptian authorities on the investigation."

The office has also contacted Egyptian authorities "on a number of occasions" urging co-operation with the Italian investigators.

The UK government cited "limited progress", saying it was both "disappointed" and "concerned that Italy has not found the co-operation that Egypt has provided to them to be sufficient".

"Egypt's close co-operation with Italy and a full and transparent investigation are vital to addressing international concerns about the safety of foreign nationals in Egypt and Egypt's commitment to the rule of law."

It further urged Egypt to "consider every possible scenario" including "unproven" allegations that Egyptian security forces were responsible for the murder of Mr Regeni.

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