Egyptian lawyer linked to slain Italian arrested in Cairo

Egyptian lawyer linked to slain Italian arrested in Cairo

Egyptian lawyer linked to slain Italian arrested in Cairo

Authorities in Egypt have arrested a lawyer whose human rights group opposes enforced disappearances and is linked to one such case involving murdered Italian student Giulio Regeni, officials said on Wednesday September 13th. He is being investigated at the state security prosecution for "illegally" establishing the association as well as "disseminating false information".

Ibrahim Metwally Hegazy was detained at Cairo International airport three days ago as he was due to board a flight for Geneva - the Dublin-based Front Line Defenders said - where he was due to attend a United Nations meeting on enforced disappearances in Egypt.

Metwally, who founded the Association for the Families of the Disappeared, was also suspected of having set up an "illegal" group, they said.

Cantini succeeds Maurizio Massari, the Italian ambassador who was recalled from Egypt a year ago amid a fierce diplomatic row caused by the death in Cairo of an Italian graduate student.

Italian prosecutors have complained that Egypt is not cooperating in the unsolved case.

Giulio Regeni, 28, vanished on January 25 of last year - the fifth anniversary of a popular uprising that forced Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to step down after 30 years in power.

Metwally had been in touch with the legal defence team of Regeni's family.

Rights groups accuse the Egyptian government of arbitrary arrests and enforced disappearances of dissidents that spiked after the military overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013 and cracked down on his supporters.

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