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Two prominent Italian intellectuals announced Monday they were returning their Legion of Honor awards to France to protest that Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi was given the prize despite his government’s human rights abuses. Corrado Augias, a longtime journalist for La Repubblica daily and onetime European Parliamentarian for Italy’s center-left, returned his prize to the French Embassy on Monday. Giovanna Melandri, a former Italian culture minister and the president of Rome’s Maxxi contemporary art museum, announced she would follow suit.

Italian recipients of the French Légion d’honneur are returning their awards over France’s ties to Egypt | Fabio Frustaci/EPA-EFE
FRANCE24
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