Three hearings in 20 days, between 7 and 26 October, and nothing has changed for Patrick Zaki, the Egyptian student from the University of Bologna who has been detained since 8 February after he was arrested on his arrival at the Cairo Airport the day before.
Judiciary persecution against Patrick by postponing his illegal and arbitrary pre-trial detention, continues. It’s as if the three “No” verdicts against his release, pronounced at the end of the hearings, are meant to underline and put in bold type the intentions of the Egyptian Judiciary Authorities.
The consequences of the intentions are the fading names and suffering of many other Egyptian prisoners of conscience: lawyers, activists, peaceful opposers and human rights defenders. The goal of pre-trial detention, that can last up to two years and sometimes longer, is to get people to forget and divert their attention.
We are not going to forget about Patrick. But keeping a close watch, writing something about him almost every day, and flying a kite with the drawing of him by Giancarlo Costantini may be good practices but they are not enough if the Italian government doesn’t change their approach.
Palazzo Chigi and the Farnesina are absent in the large Italian mobilization for Patrick. Every day he spends in prison calls their inertia into question.