A strange "documentary" has appeared on YouTube that wants to tarnish Giulio Regeni

A strange documentary has appeared on YouTube that wants to tarnish Giulio Regeni

The video feeds conspiracy theorists about the researcher's death to relieve the authorities of their responsibilities. Italian interviewees were also involved, including Senator Maurizio Gasparri

The Story of Regeni Facebook page On April 22 a channel called The story of Regeni was created on YouTube. Two days later, two trailers in Arabic are released, one subtitled in English and the other in Italian. Almost at the same time, a Facebook page is also created and several advertisements are made on some other YouTube videos. The aim is to promote a film, described as "the first documentary that reconstructs the strange movements of Giulio Regeni in Cairo". And the text continues (transcribed as it is): “Who met Regini (sic!) In the main and side streets? !! What did he ask of them? Why did he regularly go to the bars in the center, at the Qolali terminus and in the Ahmed Helmy area?! "

Grammatical errors and Regeni's wrong name aren't the only jarring elements. The video is in Arabic and the tones seem to be strongly conspiratorial. However, fictional reconstructions have a certain quality, at least as far as photography and direction are concerned. Other elements are much more botched, from poster graphics to gross errors. For example, Regeni's name is wrong, even on the Facebook page homepage. Furthermore, no production company is specified and there is no other reference on the authors, which is very unusual for the launch of a documentary.

It is not even known when it was filmed and - it should be specified immediately - it does not bring new elements of investigation, but limits itself to using already known facts to manipulate its reading and discredit the figure of Giulio Regeni. The release date, however, does not go unnoticed: April 28. The day before the date set for the preliminary hearing in the trial requested for the four agents of the National Security in Cairo that the judiciary believes involved in the death of the Italian researcher: General Tariq Sabir, Athar Kamel Mohamed Ibrahim, Uhsam Helmi, Magdi Ibrahim Abdelal Sharif. Three new witnesses accuse the four of being responsible for the kidnapping, torture and murder of Regeni.

A propaganda video?

The Story of Regeni - an image from the trailer It would be news if someone had carried out a documentary investigation in Arabic on the torture and killing of Giulio Regeni, a 28-year-old Italian researcher who disappeared on 25 January 2016 in Cairo , where he was on research, and found dead on the road from the capital to Alexandria, full of signs of harassment and torture, nine days later. Instead it is the product of an account that had never published anything before, and which in fact makes propaganda in a conspiratorial key to free the Egyptian government from responsibility in the Regeni affair, as can be understood by watching the entire video, which lasts a fifty minutes. As with the trailer, two versions have been released, one with English subtitles and the other in Italian (limping). The documentary alternates moments of fiction (to reconstruct some passages of the story) with interviews and has the clear objective of questioning the figure of Giulio and the investigation of the Rome Public Prosecutor's Office.

After some fictional scenes in which an actor who plays Giulio Regeni appears, in some ways very similar, here is the first interview. Surprisingly, an Italian appears: “Fulvio Gremaldi” (sic!), Presented as a “correspondent for Italian TV”. Fulvio Grimaldi (this is the correct name) has a long and somewhat problematic journalistic career and now runs a political blog. In the first speech he essentially argues that the University of Cambridge that Regeni attended has among its aims that of training agents of the secret services (a thesis he has already presented on the conspiracy channel Byoblu). Then Mohamed Abdallah, representative of the street vendors, appears. This is the man who denounced Regeni to the Egyptian authorities. Abdallah says he suspected Italian right away. This impression was also confirmed in the video by the porter of the building where Regeni was staying, Hosni Elsayed.

The accusations against the Muslim Brotherhood

Some posters of The Story of Regeni The narration continues in this tone, up to Giulio's tutor in Cambridge, teacher Maha Abdelrahman, presented by the video as a person linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, the political-religious group that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has banned. To support this thesis, an interview with a second Italian interlocutor: Leonardo Tricarico, former Chief of Staff of the Air Force, supported by other conjectures of this type by Grimaldi himself.

An old acquaintance of Italian politics appears in the video: Maurizio Gasparri, former Minister of Communications and now Senator of Forza Italia, who surprisingly also hastens to point out the real culprits in the Muslim Brotherhood. To throw further suspicions on Regeni then thinks again Grimaldi, who claims that the researcher had worked for a multinational industrial espionage company: Oxford Analytica (which has nothing to do with Cambridge Analytica made known by the Facebook scandal), an analysis company geopolitics with which Regeni had collaborated in 2016. And that has nothing to do with espionage.

More mud

The Story of Regeni - the account on YouTube Continuing in the video Wesam Ismail, who is presented as a lawyer, claims that the Egyptian security authorities did not consider Regeni dangerous. Then the street trade unionist Mohamed Abdallah declares that Regeni offered him some money. A clip of the video is shown - also made public in Italy - from which instead we learn that Regeni explicitly refuses to give money to Abdallah, who asks him to film it with a micro camera provided by the authorities to whom the researcher had reported, because that money they were used for his research and were not in his availability. Although this passage is clear to everyone, the video passes over this evident contradiction between the words of the leader of the peddlers and what the video, in the investigation records, testifies and gives space to another conspiracy theory, advanced by Grimaldi, which refers to an offer of ten thousand euros for a mysterious subversive project against the government of al-Sisi, completely unfounded.

Among the interviewees there is also General Farouk Elmakrahy, presented as a former assistant to the Egyptian interior minister, who reiterates that Egypt did not consider Regeni dangerous. However, the film, in search of elements to discredit Giulio, is based on an analysis of the apparent illogicality of the path that he would have taken on the evening of his disappearance to meet his compatriot Gennaro Gervasio, as if to imply that having chosen the longer path would be a prove that there was something suspicious about him. Obviously, without bringing - once again - any evidence or documents in this regard.

The behavior of Giulio Regeni's parents is then stigmatized, who arrived in Cairo after being alerted by the disappearance of his son, would have stolen Giulio's personal effects from the Egyptian prosecutor's office.

"Italy does not collaborate"

The name of Giulio Regeni appears several times crippled The subtext of the documentary is that the killing and discovery of the corpse of Giulio Regeni had the aim of to destabilize relations between Italy and Egypt, something contrary to the interests of Cairo. The theory is also supported by Tricarico and Grimaldi. And Italy, for its part, would not have cooperated adequately with the Egyptian investigations. On the contrary, out of propaganda, the reality of the facts says that it was Egypt that hindered the Italian investigative activity and the path to give justice to the researcher and his family. For example, for months he did not respond to the request for letters rogatory for the suspects and the issue of the election of domicile will be at the center of the preliminary hearing.

On the point of Italy-Egypt relations, Gasparri himself treading the hand: the senator questions the credibility of the Rome prosecutor's office by referring to the Luca Palamara case (the magistrate involved in the scandal of appointments in the prosecutors' offices and completely disconnected from the Regeni murder). Ashraf Rashid, former Egyptian ambassador to Italy, explains that Regeni's death was ridden in Italy to stir up internal discord. The documentary claims that there has been "nervousness" in Italy about the affair, but Gasparri points to the culprit, "as a journalist" as he believes he is: it is the fault of the media, as well as the investigative authorities, if sufficient clarity has not been made.

Shortly after, Tricarico reiterates one of the fundamental points of the film: "he heard" - but not from whom, when and with supporting elements - that the whole operation was financed by a foundation linked to the Muslim Brotherhood . Finally, after having blamed the Italian investigative activity in the face of the excellent work of the Egyptian one, the documentary insists that, due to the Regeni affair, Italy risks ruining good relations with Egypt. Claimed, as regards military supplies and collaborations, by the last Italian voice interviewed Elisabetta Trenta, former Minister of Defense in the Conte I government. A Wired Trenta said, surprised, that she had been contacted to make a documentary of a completely different type on the each other.

At the time of publication of this article, there were no feedbacks on the video nor did any further information emerge to attribute its authorship, although it is clear the intent to support the Cairo line and to throw mud on the figure of the researcher. According to Wired, neither the lawyers nor the Regeni family had been informed of the release of this video.

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Giulio Regeni Italy YouTube policy globalData.fldTopic = "Giulio Regeni , Italy, Politics, YouTube "

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