Letters carved into tortured student's body
A Cambridge University graduate who was murdered in Egypt had mysterious letters carved into his corpse during several days of torture, a post-mortem examination has revealed.
Giulio Regeni, a 28-year-old Italian who was studying for a PhD at Girton College, disappeared in Cairo in January, on the fifth anniversary of the Tahrir Square demonstrations which led to the downfall of president Hosni Mubarak.
He was researching the activities of anti-government trade unions. His tortured body was found dumped in a ditch on the outskirts of the Egyptian capital a week later.
A post-mortem by the Italian authorities has found that not only was he sadistically beaten over several days, his torturers used knives to carve what appeared to be four or five letters into his skin.
A letter resembling an X was cut into his left hand, while other markings were carved into his back, above his right eye and on his forehead. "They used him like a blackboard," his mother, Paola, said.
The macabre details emerged from a 220-page post-mortem report conducted by two Italian coroners, Professors Vittorio Fineschi and Marcello Chiarotti.
They found that the Cambridge graduate had suffered broken bones, five shattered teeth and cuts, bruises and burns all over his body. "In the dorsal region, to the left of the spine, there is a group of marks which seem to make up a letter," the autopsy said.
"It is reasonable to hypothetise that he was hit with kicks, fists, sticks and hammers," the report said. He finally died when his neck was broken.
Giulio Regeni was studying for a PhD at Cambridge when he disappeared in Cairo.