Two policemen without uniforms or badges arrested an Italian man living in Cairo and attempted to frame him for selling “sexual encounters.” The man, D.G., was stopped July 6 on Doqqi Road, the same district where Giulio Regeni lived. They threw him into a five-by-five-meter cell along with 50 other inmates and held him there for 27 days. It was 21 days before he was even allowed to appear before a judge, and meanwhile he was forced to watch torture sessions in which other prisoners were beaten and slashed with knives.
D.G. came out alive only because, by a stroke of luck, an Italian-Egyptian prisoner had access to a cell phone and alerted the Italian Embassy through a relative. Now that he’s safely back in Italy, D.G., who is gay and had lived in Cairo since 2009, wrote about his terrible experience for Vice News (in Italian). He penned the account anonymously to protect acquaintances still in Egypt.
His account could be helpful as Italian investigators try to identify those who tortured and killed Regeni, the Italian doctoral student whose body was discovered in a ditch on Feb. 3. Autopsy reports so far point to a slow interrogation conducted by trained torturers.
So far, however, investigators have made only grinding progress because of the lack of cooperation from Egyptian authorities. On Monday, the prosecutor in Rome flew back to Cairo after his request for evidence — including reports and phone records, submitted to the Egyptians weeks ago — returned only some incomplete and practically useless documents.