Giulio Regeni and his supervisor at Cambridge University, Maha Abdelrahman, signed a risk affidavit stating there was no danger in investigating independent Egyptian trade unions in the field.
It was one of the documents the British university handed over to prosecutors in Rome on Aug. 22, after the request letter dated June 6. Ten folders containing a personal file on Abdelrahman and emails sent and received by Regeni’s email account at the university. The actual details on the research itself were missing: who created the research plan and who provided union contacts to Regeni in Cairo.
But the risk affidavit generates obvious questions: Is it possible that an Egyptian professor, who had suffered repression by Cairo in the past, and a university of international renown (which conducts research all around the world) would not know the dangers of a country prey to the widespread control of secret services and police? Especially in light of the subject matter: Unions were the backbone of the 2011 revolution, and even today, they are constantly monitored by the government.