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Reuters claims security forces detained Regeni prior to his murder

A Reuters article published Thursday has claimed that Italian student Giulio Regeni was detained in a National Security Agency compound before he was killed, citing six anonymous sources from the police and intelligence services.

The security sources, which included three intelligence officers and three police officers, told Reuters that Regeni was detained by plainclothes police personnel near the Gamal Abdel Nasser metro station on the evening of January 25.

When contacted by Mada Masr, the Interior Ministry declined to comment on the Reuters article.

Regeni disappeared on the fifth anniversary of the 2011 revolution as he was going to meet a friend in downtown Cairo, an area heavily occupied by security forces that day. His body was found in early February on the side of a road in a Cairo suburb showing signs of torture including cigarette burns, bruises, cuts and multiple stab wounds. Reuters previously alleged that Regeni’s torture has bore the hallmarks of Egyptian security forces, though these reports have been stringently denied by Egyptian authorities.

The account given to Reuters by the anonymous security sources does not exactly match with what is known about Regeni’s movements on January 25.

Regeni was trying to meet a friend in the Bab al-Louq area of downtown, which is much closer to the Mohamed Naguib metro station than the Nasser metro station. To get from the Nasser metro station to Bab al-Louq would take around 20 minutes walking, while the Mohamed Naguib metro station is in Bab al-Louq. The other metro station close to Bab al-Louq is Sadat — however, because the Sadat metro station is located in Tahrir Square, it was closed January 25.

Furthermore, the Nasser metro station is not on the line that Regeni would have taken after leaving his apartment in Dokki. He was last seen boarding the Behoos metro station. Getting from Behoos to Nasser involves a lengthy transfer at the Ramses metro station.

The security sources told Reuters that an Egyptian man was detained at the same time as Regeni. The sources said that the two men were not specifically targeted, but picked up as part of a general security sweep.

One of the sources stated that Regeni was taken to the Azbakiya Police Station in a white minibus with police license plates. The three police sources also told Reuters that Regeni was taken to the Azbakiya station.

An intelligence source told Reuters that Regeni was held at Azbakiya for 30 minutes before he was transferred to Lazoghly Square, the headquarters of the National Security Agency. The sources did not provide further information as to what happened to Regeni after his detention or where he was transferred after he was allegedly taken to Lazoghly.  

Mohamed Ibrahim, a National Security Agency official in the media department, denied to Reuters that security services ever had any contact with Regeni, aside from when he entered Egypt and they stamped his passport.

“If we had any suspicions concerning his activities, the solution would have been simple: Expel him,” Ibrahim told Reuters.

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