Sapienza for Patrick Zaki
On July 19, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi pardoned Patrick Zaki after a long legal process that began with his arrest in Egypt on February 7, 2020 and his unexpected conviction the day before by the Mansura court. The pardon is a great result for all the Italian universities, humanitarian organisations and public institutions that have worked hard over the years to free Patrick.
Our University, extremely pleased about this news, has always endeavoured to keep a high profile on the case of Patrick George Zaki, who has since graduated with top marks on July 5, 2023.
Over the student's long period of imprisonment, Sapienza took several actions.
On February 12, 2020, a few days after the arrest, Sapienza's Board of Governors endorsed the University of Bologna's motion expressing great concern.
During World Human Rights Day on December 10, 2020, the Academic Senate of Sapienza University approved a motion for Patrick. In the motion, the community of Sapienza University of Rome, in all its components, joins in the feelings of shock and indignation widely shared at the national and international institutional level and hopes that the international community will induce the Egyptian authorities to review their positions in the light of the fundamental and universal principles of proportionality and respect for human life. On December 21, 2020 the Conference of Italian University Rectors (CRUI) sent a plea to the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, which emphasises - given the extension of pre-trial detention - that the young man's health conditions had deteriorated considerably and asked for clemency in allowing him to await his trial at home with his family.
On January 25, 2021, the University promoted the marathon of voices "Justice for Giulio Regeni and Freedom for Patrick George Zaki", organised by Ca' Foscari University of Venice to mark five years since the kidnapping of Giulio Regeni and a few days before the first anniversary of Patrick Zaki's arrest.
On February 7, 2021, one year after Patrick's arrest, our Academic Senate decided to join the initiative promoted by Amnesty International Italy. To support and spread the call for Patrick's release, the international human rights organisation has launched an appeal to authorities, administrations, and schools to symbolically illuminate public buildings, monuments or fountains in yellow on February 7 and 8, 2021. Sapienza lit up the Main Campus's buildings in yellow, joining in the solidarity action to keep up the media attention and pressure the Egyptian institutions to reconsider Patrick's detention status as soon as possible.