Will the Regeni murder go unpunished?
The Egyptian-Italian investigation into the murder of Giulio Regeni has ended in disagreement. Egypt insists that criminals killed the 28-year-old Cambridge student in February 2016, while Italy blames the Egyptian security services. Just a few days after the investigation was temporarily closed, Emmanuel Macron awarded Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi the Grand Cross of the French Legion of Honour.
Crisis of values becoming obvious
France knew perfectly well that the public would not appreciate the decision to give al-Sisi the medal, Il Manifesto fumes:
“When realpolitik takes precedent over everything else, starting with the values loudly proclaimed in every official speech, we are faced with a moral crisis that is becoming ever more difficult to conceal. This is now happening to Emmanuel Macron, who decides who is to receive the French state medals. ... He awarded al-Sisi the Grand Cross, the country's highest honour. ... The Elysée Palace knew it was on thin ice in doing so. The public was excluded when the cross was awarded. It only learned of the award ceremony held for the Egyptian autocrat through images that were broadcast with much fanfare on Egyptian television.”
Italy can and must make Giulio Regeni's murder a matter that concerns all of Europe, La Stampa believes:
“The 'global human rights sanctions regime' on 'restrictive measures against serious human rights violations and abuses' [which the EU passed on December 7] the path to justice for the young Italian researcher who was brutally murdered in Cairo has become shorter and less difficult. The new instrument gives Italy the opportunity to usher in a new era of justice by setting a European example through a national case. And it would also help to expose hypocrisy: it won't be difficult to see who speaks of human rights just to make conversation and who regards them as a fundamental asset of the community's sovereignty.”