The Rabaa Massacre

Remembering the Rabaa Massacre

Six years ago, on 14 August 2013, the Egyptian army stormed a sit-in at Cairo's Rabaa square and slaughtered more than 1,000 people who were protesting against the removal of the country's first democratically elected President, Mohamed Morsi.

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Egyptian opposition had been demonstrating outside the Rabaa Al-Adawiya Mosque in Cairo for 47 days when security forces attacked at around 6am on 14 August 2013.

Security forces shot indiscriminately into the crowd, set fire to the tents people had gathered in and threw tear gas into the masses. People were shot, burnt alive and suffocated with tear gas. Security forces blocked the entrances so that ambulances couldn't get in to treat the wounded.

Despite the fact that the police and army opened fire and used excessive force, since that day not a single security officer has been brought to trial or been held accountable for the massacre.

The Batel Campaign

Earlier this year, Egyptian activists re-launched the Batel (Void) campaign calling for the release of all 60,000 Egyptian political prisoners.

The campaign aims to highlight the conditions of political prisoners, as well as garner public support in opposition to President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi's further consolidation of power.

Remembering Asmaa Beltagy, the 'Baby of Rabaa'

On 14 August, 17-year-old Asmaa was shot in the chest and back when security forces violently dispersed a six-week-old sit-in by anti-coup protesters in Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square in eastern Cairo.

One of the last things Asmaa said was: “Persist, victory will come soon. Do not leave the revolution to the army.”

Daughter of a Muslim Brotherhood leader, and a young icon of the protest, during the Rabaa Massacre, Asmaa was targeted and killed by an Egyptian sniper.

Her assassination garnered worldwide condemnation, notably from the Turkish President Recept Tayyip Erdogan, who broke down in tears during a live TV broadcast.

Read More:
How Asmaa Was Killed
Letter from Dr Mohamed Beltagy to his martyred daughter
Erdogan breaks into tears over Beltagy's letter to his daughter

Third-party videos

Since July 2013...

2,762 women have been arrested

125 of them are currently in prison

Only 17 have been charged and sentenced

15 have been 'dissapeared' - no trace, no records

The story of Umm Zubeida

Umm ZubeidaUmm Zubeida, also known as Mona Mahmoud, who told the BBC in 2018 that her daughter had been forcibly disappeared by security forces and tortured, has been imprisoned, four times as of August 2019.

Her crime was asking about the whereabouts of her daughter.

Zubeida Ibrahim Ahmed Younis, who had not been seen since April 2017, appeared on television shortly after the BBC report was aired to say that she had not been kidnapped and tortured by authorities and that she does not speak to her mother due to personal reasons.


Read More:
Umm Zubeida: Why is Egypt punishing me for searching for my daughter?
Umm Zubeida cuts off her hair in protest of continued detention
Egypt returns Umm Zubeida to prison for fourth time


An international rights platform has documented thousands of violations against women in Egypt since 3 July 2013, a turning point in the regime’s treatment of females, which was considered a red line by previous governments.

We Record has documented enforced disappearances, physical and psychological torture, threats of rape and exposure to sexual harassment by members of the national security and police personnel, over the six years since the coup.

Read their report on the violations against Egyptian women.