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Unimore call for the release of Patrick George Zaki

In accordance with the Egypt Coptic Community, to which Patrick George Zaki, student and researcher of the University Alma Mater Studiorum of Bologna, belongs, the 7 January is Christmas day.

On this day, our thoughts definitely go to this young activist for human rights, who has unjustly been detained in the Tora prison under pre-trial detention for 11 months by the Egyptian authorities who, by means of questionable and surprising decisions made by the Court of Cairo, continue to reject the calls raised by a significant part of the international community, the University of Bologna, the Conference of Rectors of Italian Universities (CRUI), Amnesty International of Modena and Reggio Emilia, and the Municipality of Reggio Emilia for his immediate release, so that – as called for by CRUI - he  is allowed “to wait for the trial at home with his family, a place where he could recover from the psychological sufferings due to long months of imprisonment”.

Other than being unacceptable on a moral and political perspective - as it already happened to the Italian researcher Giulio Regeni - it is really sad that in Egypt they still prosecute opinion-related offences and everyday the safeguard of those operating to protect human rights are trampled on, by rejecting - as urged by Amnesty International - the opening of an independent investigation on the tortures he suffered after being arrested 7 February last year.

The University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, who supports the calls and the concerns for the health of young Patrick George Zaki, deems this continued situation regarding the young researcher intolerable and, in agreement with the CRUI and the University of Bologna, will make any effort to keep the attention on his fate engaged, wishing that he is released soon and can go back to his studies.

A press release disclosed on the day after the umpteenth judgement of the Court of Cairo against him reports that the Conference of the Rectors, which raises once more the call of the Scholars at Risk (SAR) network and Amnesty International, is “ seriously concerned for the decision made by the Egyptian court on 7 December 2020 to extend the pre-trial imprisonment for additional 45 days, and feels a strong responsibility for those students carrying out their research projects ”.

The CRUI letter also stresses out that Zaki “ suffers from asthma  and is extremely at risk if exposed to COVID-19 infection in the Tora prison" and reminds that the student recently informed that he “is suffering from severe back pain and his mental health is getting worse ”.

Unimore takes up the indignation of the university community for this situation, as it was the case for the support and participation in controlling the squares of Modena and Reggio Emilia in February 2020, by adopting the motion of the University of Bologna by the Academic Senate in March 2020, and the public statement for renewing the solidarity of the last August, and hereby declares to join all the initiatives that will be promoted to pursue a favourable conclusion of the case relating to Patrick George Zaki.

Categorie: International - english

Articolo pubblicato da: Ufficio Stampa Unimore - ufficiostampa@unimore.it il 11/01/2021