During the initial days of their detention, Refaat and Ibrahim Fawzy Abdo were tortured with electric shocks for 8 hours a day over a period of three days. Sources believe that authorities are using the brothers as leverage to make other Christians confess that the May attack was not religiously motivated.
On May 31, approximately 60 armed Muslims stormed a monastery where the brothers worked as building contractors in Mallawi, Upper Egypt. One Muslim was killed in the attack, four Christians injured and three monks briefly kidnapped. Although they were not on the premises when the violence occurred, Refaat and Ibrahim were subsequently charged with the murder. Sources say that the brothers were tortured in an attempt to make them testify that the monks at the monastery were armed.