Egypt charges lawyer investigating Italian student’s murder


A lawyer investigating the murder of an Italian student in Egypt is facing prosecution and up to five years in prison after being forcibly disappeared at Cairo airport. Ebrahim Metwally Hegazy disappeared on Sunday while travelling to a session of the UN working group on enforced or involuntary disappearances in Geneva. He reappeared before prosecutors on Tuesday evening charged with “managing an illegal group, spreading false news … [and] cooperating with foreign organisations”.

Metwally represents families of people forcibly disappeared by the Egyptian state – when a person is secretly arrested and held in an unknown location without access to legal services – after his son disappeared in 2013 while working for the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms, a Cairo-based NGO. ECRF lawyers have acted as the legal counsel of Giulio Regeni’s family in Egypt after the Cambridge University student disappeared on 25 January 2016. His body was found on an outlying Cairo desert road bearing signs of extreme torture. Mohamed Lotfy, the head of ECRF, said: “Ebrahim had intended to speak [at the conference] about his son and deaths in custody following disappearance. He was going to speak about the Regeni case as the iconic example of this.”(theguardian)…[+]