Commentary. We owe it to Giulio Regeni to pursue justice as long as it takes.

It’s been 10 months and still no justice for Giulio Regeni

Yesterday was Nov. 25, 2016, 10 months after the death of Giulio Regeni. We bitterly note that the fog is dense, so thick that it is difficult see any light, not even the dimmest, to illuminate this history of political crime.

The judicial cooperation between the Prosecutor’s Office in Rome and the Egyptian judiciary is proceeding slowly, and we do not know what fruits it will bear. It seems that there will be a new summit in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, the diplomatic pressure of the Italian government should have played against the Egyptian government, if not for respect for human rights on a global scale at least for patriotism, are dangerously stagnant.

We do not know if there ever will be a meeting between the Italian and Egyptian prime ministers. We do not know if the meeting will be collaborative or if the seconds in command will present more nonsense and initial false leads. But we know that the silence of the Italian institutions worries us.

We also know that Regeni was tortured and there were traces of his murderers on his body, if anyone among Cairo’s investigators had wanted to look for them.

We know that when torturers torture or think about torturing in the name of the state, they do not bother to conceal their responsibility. We know that they often enjoy immunity and impunity, which make them arrogant and so careless they do not bother to conceal the crime.

We know that torture is a heinous crime, detrimental to human dignity, and it has become a common practice of the Egyptian regime of former General el-Sisi, with all the cases of forced disappearances.

We know that torture is not a crime in Italy, and this reduces the rate of our public morality as well as the international credibility of the Italian government.

Finally, we know that justice in a non-democracy is a very difficult goal to achieve.

Just because we know all this, Antigone and CILD (Italian Coalition for Civil Liberties) will keep alive and active the demand for justice and truth in Regeni’s case. We are aware that it will take determination, time and memory. We are accustomed to remembering, to be on the side of the victims of human rights violations for decades, fighting tirelessly.

These days, for example, the first trial in Rome against the murderers, kidnappers and torturers of the South American fascist allies in Operation Condor is about to end. It is the conclusion of 20 years of memorable judicial work of lawyers Arturo Salerni and Mario Angelelli of Progetto Diritti. The children of the victims of that time will finally have a legal acknowledgement.

So we will continue to fight today, tomorrow and as long as necessary for justice and truth for Giulio Regeni.

We owe it to his wonderful and very brave family. We owe it to ourselves, to those who believe in freedom. It is our duty to do so. Not just realpolitik.

This is why we hope that the next possible meeting in Rome does not end with yet another humiliating nothing (for Italy).

Patrizio Gonnella is president of Antigone-CILD.

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