The Italian Foreign Ministry has asked its Egyptian counterpart to provide any information about Giulio Regeni, an Italian student who has been missing in Cairo since January 25.
The 28-year-old student “mysteriously disappeared on the evening of January 25 in the center of the Egyptian capital,” the ministry said in a statement. Contact was last made with Regeni in the Giza district of Dokki, according to Italian media reports.
Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni urged Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry to do all he can to locate Regeni and provide any possible information on his whereabouts.
The Italian Embassy in Cairo immediately started coordinating with relevant authorities to find Regeni, according to the statement. Both ministries are also in contact with Regeni’s parents, who arrived in Cairo on Wednesday, according to Italian media.
Media reports also revealed that Regeni has lived in Cairo since September, where he has been conducting research on the Egyptian economy for his PhD. The student has been the recipient of awards in 2012 and 2013 in competitions promoted by the Regional School for European Studies (IRSE).
Regeni’s family is well known in the region of Friuli in northeast Italy. His mother was a candidate in the last municipal elections in 2014.
January 25 marked the fifth anniversary of the 2011 revolution, but unlike past anniversaries, the day went by quietly, largely due to a heavy security presence around the country. Media reports claimed that at least 150 opposition protesters were arrested across the country.
In the days leading up to the anniversary, police conducted arbitrary nighttime searches in apartments in the downtown Cairo area.