It is 7:41 p.m., and hundreds of candles are lighting up the Piazzale dei Tigli. There are so many people here, many more than just those who live in Fiumicello. Paola Defendi, Giulio Regeni’s mother, is the one to give the starting signal for this emotionally overwhelming moment. Two years after the disappearance of the young researcher, people had already started gathering for the event a little before 6:30, outside the Ugo Pellis Middle School, where Regeni himself was a student. Some people have come from the neighboring provinces, and some from even farther away. Among many ordinary people, there are also familiar faces from the realm of culture, entertainment, journalism.
Do the people in Rome know what’s going on? Have they seen what mobilization there was today? —Paola Defendi
“It is an essential day, one of great importance,” said Giuseppe Giulietti, the president of the national body of the FNSI (the Italian National Press Federation, the trade union of Italian journalists). “But after this Jan. 25, we have to follow it up on the 26th, 27th, and on all the other days in the calendar. We can obtain truth and justice only by continuing to demand them, otherwise the public and the media attention towards Giulio’s case will be lost, and also—as his parents are saying, in an extraordinary example of civic responsibility—toward all the Egyptian Giulios who are disappearing and losing their lives every day.”