People living on Badr el-Din street say they found the two young men dumped in a pile of rubbish by a park on July 27. Amr Mohammed Salim, 22, a street vendor, was dead, hands bound and body covered with gashes, residents said. Hany Moussa, a 24-year-old kitchen helper, was still alive, but barely.

They were found just three blocks from where followers of Egypt’s ousted President Mohamed Morsy are camped in protest at the new military-backed government, and what happened to them is a mystery that ties in with the tumultuous events and fierce recriminations that have engulfed Egypt over the past five weeks.

Egyptian authorities and the media say that nearly a dozen bodies have been discovered close to Cairo’s two mass sit-ins for Mr Morsy, saying protesters killed them. The London-based Amnesty International says it has collected eyewitness testimony of Morsy supporters torturing members of rival groups. Other rights activists say the allegations fall into a pattern of abuse by protesters of bystanders suspected to be police spies.

But Islamist participants in the sit-ins deny that they have tortured anyone, and, unlike many of the more notorious incidents of violence that have occurred throughout over two years of political turmoil in Egypt, potentially deadly attacks by sit-in participants on bystanders have not been caught on video and circulated.

Meanwhile, the allegations have often gotten lost amid a tide of less credible media accusations against the demonstrators for example, that they are non-Egyptian Islamists, or children recruited from orphanages. These lead many to suspect that the torture claims might be propaganda as well.

Keywords: Egypt crisisMorsy ouster

More In: World | International | News