Patrick Zaki will turn 30 in his cell. And we will be quiet and good? –

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And then, lastly, there would be the Zaki case and the problem of parliamentary credibility. Zaki who? But yes, that Egyptian boy who had come to Italy to study and who, on his return home for a holiday, was swallowed up by the worst prison in his country.

Alleged fault: too much interest in civil rights. But there is still no real charge against him. Without trial, neither celebrated nor seen, this Mr. Zaki is rotting away, and the effect on body and mind literal, in a bedless cell in Cairo from February 7, 2020. More than 15 months, during which time I am Hundreds of thousands of signatures were collected for his release and such social pressure was created, starting with the indefatigable commitment of the University of Bologna that had accepted him, that it prompted our Parliament to vote unanimously on an important motion, with two commitments: opening a negotiation with Egypt on compliance with the UN convention against torture and, above all, granting Italian citizenship to this tortured foreigner, an additional diplomatic lever to put an end to a disrespect to international law and also to the minimum duty of humanity.

It happened on April 14, in the presence in the Senate of Liliana Segre, who came down on purpose to Rome from Milan, who said unforgettable words and which instead, it seems, were quickly removed. The words, made even more definitive by having been spoken by a victim of the Shoah, were these: I remember what the days spent inside the cell are, when you don’t know whether to prefer the door closed or that it opens, for fear that someone will enter. and increase your suffering. I could be Zaki’s grandmother and I came here to get my support too.

a month and a half passed, and nothing moved. Indeed, probably annoyed by the interference, the Egyptian authorities also blew up the farce of 45 days, the deadline they set for deciding whether or not to extend the pre-trial detention. The last hearing was on April 6 (extension without reasons, as in all the previous ones); the next one should have been held around May 20, but postponed to June 1, without explanation, in front of a court that seems to have come out of The process by Kafka. On the other hand, our Foreign Minister, Luigi Di Maio, had warned us: All the initiatives are meritorious but the more the media coverage increases, the more Egypt reacts by stiffening. Following this principle, and the consequent strategy of silence, it would have been difficult to reach the beginning of the trial of the four Egyptian security agents accused of the kidnapping, torture and murder of Giulio Regeni. It took 64 months of struggle, of investigations, of painfully public clamor, for Giulio’s family to obtain the first document due in the face of his son’s ordeal: May 25, 2021, Court of Rome, with a death consummated on February 3, 2016. More than five years between the murder and the appearance of the more than likely murderers before the Justice.

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There is not that much time for Patrick Zaki (actually there is very little given his health condition). Or, if you want, there is all the time you want. As long as you stop pretending a facade interest and choose to cross the boy who still dreams of returning to hisBologna to take the exams and leave him moved by his fate, for many very bad reasons. For example, do not jeopardize the good business between Rome and Cairo, including the very extensive military cooperation that has just recently seen a joint exercise between the frigate Al Galala, which we have recently sold to him, and ours Margottini, which included booby-trapping and the interception of a suspicious ship, the Egyptian Ministry of Defense informs with satisfaction.

In reality, if the Zaki who line passes more or less explicitly, a not just question remains open and concerns the relationship between Parliament and the Executive. To what extent can the latter ignore a plebiscite request from the former? A few days after the pro-Zaki vote, Prime Minister Draghi, asked for a comment, replied: a parliamentary initiative. The government not involved at the moment. The question is how can he not get involved, given that the majority itself who expresses and supports him is asked to do so. It is true that we are in times of prolonged emergency and therefore of choices where speed of action often prevails over sharing. But the point of principle remains: either the deputies and senators of the government alliance have adhered to a very demanding request in terms of national diplomacy only because it seemed ugly to exempt themselves (with many apologies to the fervor fielded by Liliana Segre) and they will beyond the parade of conscience, or the government itself should give some answer, finding the moment, God forbid.

Just to give a time horizon, Patrick Zaki will turn 30 on June 16th. The worst thing that can still happen to him to discover that he was deluded that his second home, Italy, was fighting for him and instead it was all a fake. Feeling abandoned a condemnation without remedy.

May 27, 2021 (change May 27, 2021 | 20:14)


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