By Annetta Reams and Enzo Ciscato, Vicenza, Italy
In these days, in Italy, we feel terribly far away from the possible achievement of demand n. 2 of Covid-19 Global Solidarity Manifesto
“We demand that every nation move at least half its military spending to provide health care.”
On Thursday 11 June 2020, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte with the approval of all the Ministers involved in the matter, agreed to sell to Egypt two new war ships built in Italy, originally planned for the Italian Navy’s modernization.
This kind of business should be subject to debate in the Parliament according to art. 11 of the Italian Constitution and law 185/1990 regulating the export of arms & weapons.
In the last decade Italy has been Egypt’s biggest trading partner in Europe with a massive business in oil drilling (ENI Italian national oil company), surveillance, weapons and more.
The relationship with Egypt has become a controversial and drammatic issue since Giuglio Regeni (15.01.1988) Phd student at Girton College, Cambridge University, disappeared in Cairo 25.01.2016 and his body discovered 03.02.2016 on a road in the outskirts of Cairo. Giulio Regeni was researching Egypt’s independent trade unions.
Useful links reporting the tragic kidnapping and murder of Giulio are here below.
Be prepared: what you are going to read is really strong. If you read the articles as we did, thinking that Giulio was a PhD student, traveling all over the world, as your daughter or son, it makes a very strong impact.
For 4 years, Giulio’s family, many local, national and international associations (led by Amnesty International), common citizens, political and religious authorities have been asking for the truth from the Egyptian Government of Al-Sisi, while the same and Egyptian Secret Services are still hiding the truth.
In this situation, the current Italian Government has decided to sell two war ships to Egypt plus other armaments stating (after immediate protests even from members of the political Parties in the government) that “trade and business” must be kept separated from “human rights” !!! Can you believe it ?
See the campaign #StopArmiEgitto
https://www.disarmo.org/ (also with articles in English)
We are aeons away from the goal of demand n. 2 of the Manifesto with a growing embarrassment of having such a Government.
The day we were writing these lines, Egyptian activist Sarah Hijazi (30 years old) refuged in Canada after one year of prison and torture, suicided. She was destroyed by the traumas suffered from her hellish time in the prisons of Al-Sisi.
People, victims like Giulio and Sarah are thousands, but apparently they don’t count enough against the priority of business and the power of money.