CAIRO – 13 August 2017: Islamists started to amass in Rabaa al-Adawiya Square in Nasr City neighborhood on July 28, 2013 in support of former Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated President Mohamed Morsi.
Numbers varied from a few thousand to dozens of thousands throughout the 47 days the sit-in took place. A mysterious phenomenon occurred simultaneously as dead bodies with signs of torture were found in the area surrounding the sit-in.
On July 22, 2013, a body was identified as belonging to Amr Magdy Kamal Ali Samak, a worker in a textile factory who was kidnapped and killed by Morsi supporters. Two doctors in the sit-in called the ambulance to carry the body, claiming that he fainted because of the heat.
However, the corpse was bruised and had signs of beating by sticks on the chest and stomach, as well as denailing.
The dead body of textile worker, Amr Kamel, who was tortured to death in Rabaa sit-in in July 2013 - File Photo
On July 28, 2013, residents found two unknown bodies with signs of torture behind Rabaa al-Adawiya Mosque.
On July 29, 2013, the Ministry of Interior revealed that the number of dead bodies with signs of torture reported by citizens was 11, six in the Nahda sit-in and five in the Rabaa sit-in. Ten citizens reported to police that they were tortured in both sit-ins. Three were in the former, and seven were in the latter. All victims’ families accused members of the outlawed Brotherhood of assaulting them.
The ministry revealed that the three bodies, found in an empty land in the Omraniyah area of Giza, were subjected to torture by Morsi supporters in Nahda Square, as they suspected that the victims were intruders.
One of the suspects, Ahmed Kamal Mahmoud Kamal, admitted that he and others committed the crimes, and that he kept the phone of one of the victims as a “war prize.”
On July 30, 2013, the Ministry of Interior’s spokesperson stated that the unknown tortured body of the victim found in Anwar El Mofti Street was identified by his father, as his photo went viral on social media.
The victim’s name was Omar Mohamed Salem, 25 years old, and he was the son of a doorkeeper of one of the neighborhood’s buildings. His father said that he was selling tea to protesters, but he disappeared for two days before his body was found.
The father accused leaders of the Brotherhood of being implicated in his son’s death.
On August 4, 2013, the Legal Medicine Authority told press that the eight victims, whose bodies had signs of torture, found in Rabaa and Nahda died due to severe beating that led to severe bleeding. Victims also suffered from fractures resulting from dragging. One of them was stabbed in his chest and hand.
On July 2, 2013, while Morsi supporters were inspecting cars in the square entrances, they stabbed and hit a police officer, Karim Emad, just because he was an officer, before he managed to escape by car.
Five Rabaa protesters were arrested in New Cairo in July 2013 as they had cut off the fingers of a citizen they accused of being a thief who had stolen a mobile phone from inside the sit-in.
On July 7, Morsi supporters stopped a policeman while returning home and stole his motorcycle and gun, in addition to breaking both his legs and causing him a concussion, along with bruises on his face. Then, they threw him to the Loyalty and Hope graveyard.
A citizen named Mohamed Kamal Ahmed Shafik was stopped by a group of Morsi supporters near his house in Nasr City in July 2013, and while inspecting him, they found a business card carrying the name of Ahmed Shafik.
They thought he was the relative of presidential candidate Ahmed Shafik, who had run for office against Morsi in 2012. However, his attempts to explain that the business card belonged to his uncle and that it was just a namesake went in vain.
Man was beaten by Rabaa protesters in July 2013 because of namesake with former presidential candidate against Morsi - File Photo
However, Mohamed was stripped of his clothes and beaten twice while he was locked in the Tourism Education School. Later on, he was released after culprits seized his wallet and national ID. Mohamed said that they threatened him of murder if he did not leave his papers.
While being inspected to enter the sit-in on July 19, journalist Hatem Zoheiri was severely beaten when Morsi supporters became aware of his profession through his national ID. The residents of the building where he was locked up helped him escape.
On July 23, 2013, security forces succeeded to free a kidnapped police officer and a policeman through negotiations with protesters, as they were caught while securing a rally by protesters against Morsi and tortured.
A tailor named Ahmed Khaled Ibrahim, 20 years old, told press on July 31 that some men wearing phosphorus clothes and carrying sticks stopped him in the street and insisted that he join the sit-in in return for a meal.
Ibrahim joined them for an hour, but they refused his departure and grabbed him below the stage they built to deliver speeches. He saw Mohamed El Beltagy and another brotherhood figure he knew from television, as they supervised his torture.
On August 13, 2013, the day preceding the dismantling of the sit-in, five citizens filed police reports in Nasr City Police Department against Islamist protestors in Rabaa.
Ahmed Mohie El Din Ahmed, 27 years old, said that a group of protestors kidnapped him while walking in Youssef Abbas Street and kept torturing him in one of the tents, breaking his arm and bruising different body parts.
Later on, he was released, only to be hospitalized in the Heliopolis hospital. He testified that he found in the tent six others tied and blindfolded, and that Safwat Hegazy, Mohamed El Beltagy, Mohamed Aref and Osama Yassin incited their supporters to perform such acts.
Alaa Ateya Ibrahim, 53 years old, and his daughter Marina, 24 years old, reported that they were beaten by Morsi supporters while walking in Anwar El Mufti Street, which had caused a fracture in the right leg of the former.
Kamal Sadek Malak Shnouda, a 68-year-old taxi driver, reported that he was stopped by Morsi supporters in Nasr Street and asked to see his national ID. Then, they beat him with sticks, breaking his left arm before they let him go.
Amal Fathy, a 24-year-old flight attendant, was shot in her left leg by Morsi supporters near her house as they were firing on police forces in Nasr City.
It is worthy to mention that the Rabaa sit-in has been popularly named ‘Rabaa Abattoir’ for the high frequency of torture and murder cases whose photos went viral on social media and in mainstream media.