On April 15, 2017, Egyptian authorities announced that President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi had been ousted and replaced by General Abdel Fadlallah al-Assar, a former Egyptian general who served under Mubarak as the country’s military ruler.
In the days after the announcement, Egyptian journalists and social media users flooded the country with news of the ouster.
In a series of tweets and videos, activists posted photos and videos of their own, claiming to be eyewitnesses of the coup attempt, and posted messages from Egyptian soldiers, soldiers of the state, and military officers.
The “crowd” of alleged coup plotters, many of whom were detained in Cairo, posted on Twitter and Instagram, claiming they had been arrested and tortured.
The hashtag #EgyptSissiCoup, which was created in the days following the coup, quickly gained traction among the internet’s most prominent voices.
By late April, the hashtag was trending worldwide, and a hashtag, #EgyptCoupThreat, was used to call for the overthrow of President Sisi.
At the time of writing, there are no publicly available videos and no verified accounts claiming to have witnessed the coup.
This article examines some of the claims and videos circulating on social media and in Egypt, focusing on the alleged coup attempt and its aftermath.
A Coup Plot?
An Egyptian military general is reported to have been detained and tortured in Cairo on April 15th, 2017.
Egyptian journalist and social activist, Ali Khadem, who has since fled the country, published an account of what happened in a series called “Munir al-Ahmed,” or “The Tale of the Coup.”
On May 9, Khadem told Al Jazeera that he was at a cafe near Tahrir Square with his family when they heard the news.
“I heard shouting, and then I saw the general, the general who was detained by the army, being beaten and dragged by the side of the road,” Khadem said.
“He was on his knees.
He had his arms behind his back, he was on a bed, and his legs were tied up.”
Khadem later went to a hospital and told his family that he had seen “a general being dragged in a ditch by the legs.”
The next day, Khaden uploaded footage of himself and his family at a public event where he had been invited to speak about the coup and the protests that followed.
The footage, uploaded on YouTube, was shared on social networks by activists who claimed to be participants in the demonstration, and Khadem was later featured in a television documentary that aired on Egyptian state television on April 12, 2017 (see below).
Khadem went on to explain that the military had been ordered to arrest him and other “citizen journalists” who had witnessed the demonstration.
Khadem and his fellow activists were detained and beaten, he claimed, with the soldiers telling them that they had “nothing to do with it.”
The following day, the state-run Al Jazeera television channel broadcast a documentary titled “A Coup to Save Egypt,” which detailed the purported coup plot against President Sissi.
In one scene, Khadem said that he and the other protesters were arrested while trying to leave Tahrir, and he was subsequently taken to a prison where he was tortured.
“When I was being beaten by the security forces, they said they would shoot me if I screamed or protested,” Khademy said.
According to Al Jazeera, “Mounir al Akhmed” was detained for “a few days,” and then released.
“The next day [April 13], I was in a hospital with an injury to my head.
My legs were still tied up,” he told Al-Jazeera.
Khadadem and the others who participated in the demonstrations were “forced to kneel on the ground,” he said.
Khaden also alleged that he, and other activists, were “drowned” while in custody.
“They started to drown me,” Khaden told Al Arabiya English.
“And when I tried to run away, they told me that I would never be able to get out.”
Khaden later posted an image of himself with what appears to be an arrowhead lodged in his head, with a caption saying, “They kept me in the prison for five days.”
The caption was later deleted.
“Mouzia and Khademe’s Stories” A video uploaded on March 11, 2017 on social network Instagram, purported to be the story of a woman who claimed she was kidnapped and tortured by the military.
The woman, identified only as “Moussa,” was filmed and filmed being held in a prison by the Egyptian military, her face obscured by a mask.
In an interview with Al Jazeera English, the woman said she was taken to an unknown location and tortured, with her arms tied behind her back, and she was beaten repeatedly.
According a video posted on YouTube on March