The family of an Italian graduate student tortured to death in Egypt is urging Pope Francis to seek information about the case during his upcoming visit to Cairo.
The parents of Giulio Regeni made the appeal on Monday at the Italian Senate on the same day the Vatican released details of Francis April 28-29 trip, which includes a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.
Mother Paola Regeni recalled a “short but intense meeting” with Francis last year and said the family was certain that the Pope “won’t forget about Giulio during this trip, joining our concrete request for the truth to finally have peace.”
Regeni disappeared on January 25, 2016, in Cairo. His body was found along a highway nine days later bearing signs of torture.
Suspicions have run high in Italy that Egyptian police were behind the death, and Italian prosecutors have complained continuously that their Egyptian counterparts haven’t come forward with all the information they have. Egypt has denied any police role.
Francis is making a quick, two-day trip to Cairo to visit the Al Azhar university, the leading religious authority in Sunni Islam, and participate in a peace conference.
He will also celebrate Mass for Egypt’s Catholic community, meet with other Christian representatives and participate in a prayer for victims of a December attack at the St Peter and St Paul’s Church that left at least 25 people dead.
In a statement on Monday, the Egyptian government said it welcomed the visit as a way to promote peace “and disseminate the principles of tolerance and coexistence.”
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