Egyptian prosecutors have ordered the detention of a lawyer who assisted the family of an Italian graduate student killed under suspicious circumstances during a police crackdown in Cairo, accusing him of disseminating false information.
Ibrahim Metwally Hegazy, who had aided Cambridge student Giulio Regeni’s family after his death, was arrested at the Cairo International Airport on Monday while traveling to Geneva to speak at a United Nations meeting on enforced disappearances.
The prosecutors ordered that he be detained for fifteen days as investigations continue.
Hegazy had provided legal services to Regeni’s family following his mysterious disappearance in the capital Cairo in January 2016.
The 28-year-old’s body was discovered a week later, covered in torture marks.
Hegazy is a member of the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF).
According to Egypt’s The Times newspaper, he was due to discuss Regeni’s case and state kidnappings in Egypt at his meeting in Geneva.
The death of Regeni remains unsolved, and Italian prosecutors have in the past complained that Egypt is not cooperating in the unsolved case.
Italy recalled its ambassador in April last year in protest, but recently announced a new ambassador would return to the position, citing some improvement.
Lawyer Hegazy is being held in Cairo’s sprawling Tora Prison complex pending investigations.