Four months have passed since Giulio Regeni disappeared a short distance from his apartment in the Dokki neighborhood, in Cairo, on a surreal evening; there was silence in the Egyptian capital, secured by the police and the army sent by the coup-maker president el-Sisi to stop the people from remembering their revolution. Regeni disappeared during Tahrir Square’s fifth anniversary, in the maze of state repression, a name among the names of disappeareds, forgotten in the oblivion of the jails.
Now, four months later, there isn’t even a shred of truth. From our leaders we often hear talk about national interest, explaining the lack of justice. Only the citizens are talking about Regeni. Nothing is heard from the governments, which, after a few tiffs (that’s the only way we can define the weak measures taken by Rome and Cairo’s angry reactions, in light of the actual Italian apathy), have put an end to the Regeni chapter. But to close the door on the Regeni affair means, also, to close the door on the sufferings endured by the Egyptian people, enslaved by a brutal regime worse than 30 years of Mubarak.
In spite of that, nothing has changed in the doctrine implemented by the president and by the Ministry of Internal Affairs: The police and the army continue to act like thugs. Detention orders against civil society leaders continue to be extended, but the detainees never go to trial. That’s the case of Ahmed Abdallah, manager of the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, who’s been behind bars for over a month. And it’s the case for Atfal al-Shawarea (“Street Kids”), a satire group that scared the regime using a cellphone camera; for the journalists Badr and el-Sakka; and for the attorney Malek Adly.