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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 6:16 pm  |  Posted from: Egypt
  

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I put this New York Times article here because it reads like a thriller.

Sadly, it's based on real events.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/15/maga ... &smtyp=cur


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:16 pm  |  Posted from: United Kingdom
  

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A very long, but interesting article that would in a normal society be an embarrassment to officialdom. However as many know to their costs many branches of Egyptian officialdom seem to be law unto themselves, they can act with impunity and are rarely if ever taken to task, perhaps it time that ‘Johnny foreigner’ started to consider their position in Egypt. :tk

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:32 am  |  Posted from: Egypt
  

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The clear message for anyone in Egypt, let alone foreigners, is that messing about in politically sensitive areas can be dangerous.

For the time being - cynic that I am - I'll take my cue from Regeni's home country.

Italy remains Egypt's largest trading partner in the EU....and third in the world (after USA and China).

The Italian ambassador is returning to Cairo this month after 15 months' "withdrawal".


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:08 am  |  Posted from: United Kingdom
  

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That kid didnt stand a chance, because sadly he ignored one of the basic rules of foreign travel.
Was this not the case where the good old rozzers found all the "suspects" but they were unable to be interrogated due to the fact they had all been killed during the "arrests"..

its all a bit JFK and Jack Ruby really isn't it ?

Government and Mafia. There is no difference between the 2 organisations. At least with the Mafia, they have rules of conduct.... 8)

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:25 am  |  Posted from: United Kingdom
  

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The problem with taking your cue from Regeni's home country is that like all governments they seem to lose their morals where trade is concerned. One dead Italian is not going to stand in the way of international trade especially if your countries gas supplies depend upon it, so basically all of their bluster and protest will come to nothing and the Egyptian government knows this. So Italy will add a coat of paint to a rusting old wreck full of decay that is Egypt and tell itself that all is well with the world and Egypt will once again see that if they stall for long enough and tell enough lies then any such problems always go away again, it seems to be an Egyptian trait.

I would agree that anyone foolish enough to get mixed up in another countries politics is being stupid and gets little sympathy in my book, but any country that has within its own infrastructure departments than can act in this way and with impunity has to be corrupt to the core. It should also send a message to anyone living there that they too could be treated in a similar manner should suspicion fall upon them for any or no real reason. Bringing Hitler up in any debate usually kills it dead, but the similarities between the Egyptian police and Hitler’s Brown Shirts has much in common, both were thug organisations within the state. 8)

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:53 am  |  Posted from: Egypt
  

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You might think so.....I couldn't possibly comment :ct


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:31 am  |  Posted from: United Kingdom
  

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newcastle wrote:
You might think so.....I couldn't possibly comment :ct

And that would be quite understandable :|

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:05 am  |  Posted from: Australia
  

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Should anyone be surprised about Italian political integrity or foreign policy? Its a country which had an illicit relationship with Libya under 'Quakbiscuit' and operates the largest forms of organized corruption in Europe which extends well within its judiciary, political class, business class and bureaucracy. Its political and financial relationship with the previous regime in Tunisia was foul and the previous Tunisian regime gave refuge to corrupt Italian leaders including the corrupt leader of the Italian Communist Party. For Italian politics and foreign policy to now show integrity would break to a century of bad behavior. In particular the Italian state continues to own oil and gas companies which blurs its political and economic interests with many countries.

On the other hand apparently Pope Francis personally raised the Regeni issue with Egyptian religious and political leaders during his recent visit but no Egyptian media reported this.

The claim that Regini was playing politics with his Egyptian research on unions is very hard to prove, except unless you regard the Egyptian union movement as an instrument of the state that has no responsibilities towards its union membership. Even then the 'evidence' released by Egypt against him says little more than he interviewed people and attended meetings as an observer and voiced few personal opinions.

I find the behavior of Cambridge University more morally ambiguous than any criticism of Italy and the silence of the UK media on this issue significant. How the University supervised and advised him and how much they knew of what he was doing is something they have been silent about and the evidence is clear that the University has failed to co-operate with Italian investigators on what he did and how they 'managed' him. One awaits an attack on the University from the mainstream Fleet Street press - except that many of their editors and journalists went to that university. On the other hand maybe moral ambiguity on this matter is no better in the UK than in Italy.

By way of contrast the New York press takes a strong position in contrast to its President who adopts a strong positive position on current Egyptian politics. This proves to me that a free and independent press is less widespread than we believe and even the Italian Media (which has been very critical of Cambridge) shows more independence.

The notion that London is a free media center might not be as true as several generations ago - if indeed it was ever true. No one should forget that the London Times was pro-Nazi/pro appeasement through most of the 1930's and it has never apologized for this nor ever took disciplinary action against staff over it.

I look forward to a civil action by his family in the English courts alleging University negligence or for University disciplinary action taken against Cambridge professors. The family's attempts to call the security services to give evidence should be interesting - although many of the senior security mandarins would want to protect their alma mater and many judges might need to exclude themselves.

One should not be surprised by Cambridge moral ambiguity. They recently agreed to removal from their journals of western articles critical of China following objections from the Communist party. Following complaints from thousands of western academics they now 'appear' to have returned to a free speech position. That a university could have abandoned academic free speech and only readopted it following universal protest reveals a deal about their moral integrity and a lot about their decision making processes and judgement. Then again the University College London accepted a large personal endowment from the Libyan Quakbuscuit family and saw no moral problems with that. I think they may also have conferred honorary doctorates on various political criminals.

Being critical of Egypt or Italy on this issue is one thing but I think moral responsibility is a bit more widespread - although not investigated and and denied.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:25 am  |  Posted from: Egypt
  

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Accusations of non-cooperation* or moral ambiguity serve only to muddy the waters regarding identifying and bringing to justice those responsible for Regeni's death. That governments place trade and other relationships ahead of the fate of an individual citizen is hardly news.

That the press and media pander either to their political masters, their financial backers or sometimes the perceived mentality of their readership, again has been the case for decades....possibly since the fourth estate achieved relevance.

Pope Francis can say what he likes, to whoever he likes..... I doubt anyone in Egypt cares. The Egyptian press have been gagged with regard to the Regeni affair.

Whoever carried out the murder of Giulio Regeni must be laughing at the sight of western politicians and institutions, and their media, bickering and beating their breasts over " their responsiblity".

That Regeni was dabbling in an area regarded as sensitive to the Egyptian regime is self-evident and unless anyone can find evidence the Regeni was acting clandestinely under instructions from outside powers, those wholly responsible for his death will be found within the borders of Egypt.

*Vehemently denied by Cambridge University https://www.theguardian.com/education/2 ... geni-death


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:37 am  |  Posted from: United Kingdom
  

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Cambridge and Oxford, 2 well known institutions for producing Spies. :tk

It's not like they come from Brixton academy, is it ? :ct

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 2:53 am  |  Posted from: Australia
  

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Newcastle - my point isn't trying to divert attention from moral culpability but a point about shared responsibility/limited co-operation.

I'm surprised you quote the NYT article from its new Bureau chief. Even a casual reading of it identifies misstatements of Egyptian facts and a quick check of the journalists cv shows a very limited career and an under reporting of Egyptian affairs and an over reporting, whilst based in Cairo, of remote regional news.

I don't share your views on Cambridge on this matter but draw your attention to very clear repeated Italian government criticism of them (little of which has been reported in the UK media) and repeated Italian media criticism of Cambridge. Interestingly and significantly the Cambridge media responses to both attacks deny the basis of the criticisms but provide no evidence to support their denials.

We can agree to disagree on this matter - unless you want to get into long postings.

It may not be irrelevant to the UK media coverage of this matter that the worlds worst (its customers are regularly referred to the 'dirty dozen') PR firm, London based, has been hired by Egypt to handle its UK media/political issues for Egypt. Consultants hired to sell Egypt's agenda include Lord Mandelstam and probably at least one former UK PM. I think its also the case that owners of this firm/board members are UK legislators sitting in the House of Lords - I can check if you want me to but I'm pretty sure you already know just how dark/well connected some elements of London political PR can be.

I don't share what seems (?) to be your view about the Guardian on issues related to the region. Its reporting after 2011 was hysterical and naive and its a long time since it had experienced and well regarded journalists covering the middle east or based in Cairo. In 2011 its bureau chief was junior and inexperienced. Some might have sympathy with its overall political and social agendas but its skill base is not once it once was.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 5:56 am  |  Posted from: Egypt
  

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my point isn't trying to divert attention from moral culpability but a point about shared responsibility/limited co-operation.


And my point is that the response of governments is, in the real world, based on macro consideration of economic and geopolitical issues. Whilst western populations may be horrified by the brutal murder of a westerner, and the largely free press might echo their sentiments, it's unlikely to affect decisions at the highest level.

The Regeni case is already "yesterday's news"...and the Egyptian government shows every sign of sitting it out.

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you quote the NYT article from its new Bureau chief. Even a casual reading of it identifies misstatements of Egyptian facts


You might indulge me here. What facts are misstated?

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the Cambridge media responses to both attacks deny the basis of the criticisms but provide no evidence to support their denials.


Any more than the Italians have provided evidence to support their contentions. The reputation of Oxbridge as a breeding ground for nefarious activities is overstated. I suppose the story of the "Cambridge Five" will eventually disappear into the annals of history....but not yet apparently.

The Guardian link merely reproduces the Cambridge University denial of the allegations made against it and doesn't offer any comment from its editorial staff on the merits of either assertion.

The Guardian's leftist bias is well-recognised. I like to think I can take this into account when reading any of its content and read an equally right wing source to get an alternative slant.....e.g. the Times or Telegraph. I save the ultra-right wing tabloids for lighting the barbecue.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 3:03 pm  |  Posted from: Australia
  

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A very quick reading reveals mistated facts that I had hoped you would have picked up.

Take two examples. He states that the 'possible offer' of funding was UKStg10,000. All multiple previous reports, dating back over nearly 16 months, state that it (the reluctant Regeni discussion) was about Egypt10,000. At the then currency rates it was a small fraction of his recent allegation and creates a wrong impression and shows a poor attention to detail and limited recall of the previously published facts. Another example. He gives a view on Dokki which implies it as a downmarket area. Anyone with any practical knowledge of Cairo knows several things about Dokki. One its very diverse - culturally and economically. Second it includes a lot of middle class educated people who might not be highly paid but are liberal and opinionated. Third it also includes quite a lot on downwardly mobile old money. Fourth it has lots of poorer people and those on lower incomes. For him to make this statement shows how little he knows the Cairo in which he lives or a preference for inaccurate simplifications.

If you want further examples of his poor reporting technique/skills I am happy to provide them.

Have a look at his cv. His educational and professional background is underwhelming and his commitment to independent journalism not clear - at least in any non-partisan sense. His cv reads more like an activist who does journalism from time to time.

Have a look at his publication history. He is based in Egypt as Bureau Chief but does very little reporting on it. His writing style over an extended period is short on facts and long on rhetoric/opinion/atmosphere.

His knowledge of international relations, economics, military matters, finance, public administration, legal matters, economic development etc seems thin from any reading of a selection of his articles although I think his self esteem might be high and show little insight into his gaps in knowledge, experience and skills.

I'm surprised on your view on him - although his literary writing style is quite good-if you like a literary journal style in a daily newspaper.

On a more general but related point I think its not insignificant that all major western English language newspapers have had such undistinguished and junior journalists/Bureau Chiefs in Cairo in the past 6 years - although from time to time Reuters shows real skill in undertaking research - including on this matter.

The old days of well educated long term regional specialist journalists who spoke Arabic seems to have been abandoned which might explain why no western journalist saw 2011 coming.

The old days when you got a good fleet street job based on a 1st class relevant degree from a major university seems to be abandoned as has the notion of the need for decades of relevant experience in specialist subject matter international areas and the development of a non-partisan fact based approach.

I do not include the morally dubious and partisan Robert Fisk (pro-Assad) on any list of independent experts in this region.

I am surprised that you regard the free national reporting, without comment, of Cambridge's denial in a positive way and note that you, together with most of the UK media, have not reported Regeni's parents views, and his sister's, on Cambridge's failure to assist the Italian authorities. You also fail to mention repeated Italian ministerial and police statements about Cambridge's non/limited co-operation and fail to note that the Guardian failed to mention them or gave little attention to them. You have also avoided comment on Cambridge's recent morally dubious approach on Chinese censorship of academic articles written by western academics and connections I have implied between the Regeni and Chinese matter. Of course governments need to make practical decisions but that does not mean that universities should abandon free speech and personal responsibility for financial gain or a quiet life.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 4:09 pm  |  Posted from: Egypt
  

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I'm surprised on your view on him - although his literary writing style is quite good-if you like a literary journal style in a daily newspaper.


Where have I expressed a view on him (the author of the NYT article? I posted the NYT article only with the only comment "I put this New York Times article here because it reads like a thriller."

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I am surprised that you regard the free national reporting, without comment, of Cambridge's denial in a positive way and note that you, together with most of the UK media, have not reported Regeni's parents views, and his sister's, on Cambridge's failure to assist the Italian authorities. You also fail to mention repeated Italian ministerial and police statements about Cambridge's non/limited co-operation and fail to note that the Guardian failed to mention them or gave little attention to them.


I merely pointed out that Cambridge deny the allegations of non-cooperation. If you want me to take the word of Regeni's grief-stricken parents or the Italian authorities (no doubt anxious to pass the buck) against that of the university, I'd need a little independent corroboration....or even some information on the questions asked but (allegedly) not answered

I'm beginning to wish I'd simply reproduced the CU denial, rather than mentioning where it appeared, (a letter to the Guardian) as you seem to be obsessed by the source rather than the content. I've seen reference to the spat between Italy & Cambridge elsewhere....but, as I've already said why should I accept their allegations as opposed to CU's denial. Actually the Guardian reported extensively on the Italians' criticism of Cambridge...without taking sides.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/ ... lio-regeni

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/ ... eni-murder

I find it more curious that the Italians and Regeni's parents should be spending time on this aspect when they should, in my view be demanding a great deal more from the Egyptian side.

It looks to me very much as if the Italians are casting around to attribute some responsibility on Cambridge to mask their own pathetic reaction to the murder of one of their citizens in Egypt.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 6:04 pm  |  Posted from: Egypt
  

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Take two examples. He states that the 'possible offer' of funding was UKStg10,000. All multiple previous reports, dating back over nearly 16 months, state that it (the reluctant Regeni discussion) was about Egypt10,000. At the then currency rates it was a small fraction of his recent allegation and creates a wrong impression and shows a poor attention to detail and limited recall of the previously published facts


“Any good citizen would have done what I did,” Abdallah said. “What he was talking about (offering to help secure funding for the union) gave me a feeling that it was related to spying, and so I told the authorities. What’s wrong with that? I should be applauded.”

He said the sum discussed in the video was 10,000 pounds sterling ($12,500), not 10,000 Egyptian pounds ($530)"

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-egypt ... SKBN1572O9

And this would be consistent with the scholar activist awards of the Antipode Foundation which are advertised at up to 10,000GBP.

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He gives a view on Dokki which implies it as a downmarket area.


Does he? I didn't get that impression particularly. Methinks thou dost protest too much! He refers to it as "traffic-choked" and later as "unfashionable". The former is correct (as is anywhere in Cairo). As to "unfashionable"....depends on perspective. But it doesn't equate with "downmarket".

Don't bother to point out any further "errors" you spotted if they are of similar gravity.

My only comment on the NYT article was that "it reads like a thriller." I thought that, in putting together the various bits of information that had hit the press over several months piecemeal, and placing them in context in an overall narrative, he'd done a reasonable job. He paints a colouful (arguably over-colouful?) picture of a slightly naive student caught out of his depth in the dark and dangerous world of the informer-ridden, paranoid security apparatus that pervades today's Egypt.

To rubbish the credentials of the author (thereby calling into question the basic accuracy of his article), in the absence of significant factual errors, seems a tad harsh :ct


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 2:10 pm  |  Posted from: Egypt
  

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And now this.....



phpBB [video]

(Click the picture to play video)

I don't know if the Italian man has been released and allowed to leave Egypt....or the circumstances which allowed this (if indeed it's true). Maybe the authorities felt he was innocent.

But it's odd......


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 17, 2017 6:23 am  |  Posted from: Egypt
  

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Now that's an animal that would of deserved a justifiable ''accidental death'' on a desert road. Hope he's a member on here and sees the vid.

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