Govt to look into giving Zaki citizenship -Della Vedova

Bologna Uni student has been held in Egypt for over 1 year

(ANSA) - ROME, APR 19 - The government on Monday will start to "verify the conditions for the granting of Italian citizenship to Patrick Zaki", Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Benedetto Della Vedova told Rainews24.
    Zaki is an Egyptian Bologna University postgraduate student who has been held in Egypt since February 7 last year on charges of "disseminating false news" and "incitement to protest".
    The Senate last week approved a motion calling on the government to grant him Italian citizenship.
    Della Vedova likened Zaki's case to the "tragic affair" of Italian student Giulio Regeni, who was tortured to death in Cairo in early 2016.
    "The parliamentary motion gives a commitment to the government, which came out in favour of the motion itself," he said.
    Zaki, a 29-year-old Coptic Christian, is pursuing an Erasmus Mundus Master's Degree in Women and Gender Studies at the University of Bologna.
    He also conducts research and advocacy on gender issues and human rights for the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), a human rights organization based in Cairo.
    Petitions for his release have been rejected on countless occasion.
    Zaki was arrested on arriving at Cairo International Airport when he returned home from Bologna for a short family visit.
    The Egyptian National Security Agency reportedly arrested Zaki, interrogated him about his time in Italy and his human rights work, and took him to an undisclosed location.
    During interrogation, he was allegedly frequently threatened, beaten on his stomach and back and tortured with electric shocks.
    The European Parliament, Amnesty International and Scholars At Risk have been among the bodies calling for his release, along with the Italian government. (ANSA).


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