December 27, 2020
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi
Office of the President
Al Ittihadia Palace
Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt
Fax: +202 2391 1441
The Committee of Concerned Scientists is an independent organization of scientists, physicians, engineers and scholars devoted to the protection and advancement of human rights and scientific freedom for colleagues all over the world.
We write to urge your government to take action to see to it that those responsible for the killing of Italian scholar Giulio Regeni are brought to justice. Mr. Regeni was a Ph.D. candidate at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom studying independent trade unions. He traveled to Egypt in January 2016 and was found dead on February 3, the apparent victim of torture and murder.
We are deeply disturbed that your government has “temporarily closed” the investigation into this ugly crime, while the Italian government, after extensive investigation, has identified and is preparing to prosecute four security officers – General Tareq Sabir, Colonel Ather Kamal, Major Magdi Sharif, and Colonel Hisham Helmy.
We urge you to collaborate with the Italian authorities in this case by arresting these four suspects and extraditing them to Italy so they may face justice. Should this occur, we will, likewise, urge the Italian authorities to guarantee that they receive a fair trial, including a presumption of innocence.
We urge you to reopen this case, and bring those found responsible to justice in Egypt, as well.
The global academic community is watching this case, and other cases of flagrant human rights abuses, with increasing dismay. Scholars and scientists in Egypt must be free to carry out their work, even work that may be controversial, without threats or intimidation, and police cannot be allowed such extensive impunity that they are able to commit murder without consequences.
We urge you to take action. Those responsible for grave human rights abuses must be brought to justice. Our colleagues in the scientific and academic community must be free to operate in Egypt free from fear.
Thank you for your attention to this most serious matter, and we look forward to receiving your response.
Joel L. Lebowitz, Paul H. Plotz, Walter Reich, Eugene M. Chudnovsky, Alexander Greer
Co-Chairs, Committee of Concerned Scientists
Ahmed Ihab Gamal-Eldin
Deputy Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs for Human Rights
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Corniche el-Nile, Cairo, Egypt
Fax: +202 2574 9713
Ambassador Yasser Reda
Embassy of Egypt
3521 International Court, NW
Washington, DC 20008
Fax: 202 244 4319 or 202 244 5131
Phone: 202 895 5400