The University of Trento had already demanded, in February, the release of Patrick George Zaki, the student of the University of Bologna who was arrested almost a year ago and is still detained in Egypt. The University now renews its call and endorses, together with Scholars at Risk Italia, the request made by the Conference of Italian University Rectors (Crui) to Egyptian authorities, and in particular to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, to free Patrick George Zaki and to grant him the “permission to await trial at home with his family, where he may recover from physical suffering after many months of detention”.
The appeal of the Crui, with a letter from its president Ferruccio Resta, supports the petition by Amnesty International and the Scholars at Risk (SAR) network. The Conference is "seriously concerned about the decision taken by the Egyptian court on 7 December 2020 to extend the pre-trial detention for another 45 days, and feels a strong sense of responsibility towards the students who carry out their research projects with enthusiasm and commitment", the text reads.
The Crui letter also underlines that Zaki "has asthma and is particularly at risk in the event of exposure to Covid-19 in the Tora prison", and explains that, in the letter of 12 December 2020 to his family, the young man said “he had severe back pain and that his mental health was deteriorating”.
More information: https://www.scholarsatrisk.org/sections/sar-italy/
Ester Gallo, Professor of the University of Trento and Rector’s delegate to academic and international solidarity
ester.gallo [at] unitn.it