July 23 (EUROPA PRESS) –
This Sunday the human rights researcher Patrick Zaki returned to Italy, after spending three years in prison in Egypt for “spreading false news about the internal conditions of the country” in an article he published in 2019.
The trial was held under the Emergency Law that does not allow appeals before any court, but requires the formal ratification of the country’s president, Abdelfatá al Sisi, who finally decided to pardon him.
“I’m finally here. It’s a dream come true after all these years,” Zaki declared at a press conference from the Rectorate of the University of Bologna, reports the transalpine press.
“There are no words that can describe how I feel. It’s a great feeling to be at the university and in the city to which I belong”, he added. “I have to thank my fiancée, my sister, so many people who support me. It’s a pleasure to be back in Bologna, my second home”, she highlighted.
“I am an investigator, a defender of human rights. I follow my commitment to Human Rights and this commitment continues here in Bologna (…). I do not forget all the people who have paid and continue to pay the price of their commitment and attempt to work for freedom. I hope there is a positive solution to their cases, not only in Egypt”, he highlighted.
The Bologna City Council has called a celebration for next Sunday in the city’s main square. “I want to continue, do my doctorate and resume my career as a researcher”, he has proclaimed.
Amnesty International Italy has celebrated his return. “A hug that we have been waiting for three years!”, he has published on Twitter along with a photograph of Zaki with his spokesperson, Riccardo Noury.
According to Italian sources, the pardon has been the result of “a long and constant negotiation between the authorities of Italy and Egypt”, whose protagonist was the Foreign Minister, Antonio Tajani, who in recent months has carried out several missions in Egypt.