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Egypt’s ex-president Mursi buried in Cairo

U.N. rights office calls for independent probe into Mursi death

The first democratically elected head of state in Egypt’s modern history, who was deposed by the army in 2013, was laid to rest in Cairo next to the graves of other leaders of the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood, Abdullah Mohamed Mursi told Reuters.

“We washed his noble body at Tora prison hospital, read prayers for him at the prison hospital”, another son, Ahmed Mursi, wrote on Facebook.

The Muslim Brotherhood has described Mursi’s death as a “full-fledged murder” and called for mass gatherings to mark his passing. Egyptian officials have denied accusations that his health was neglected.

Life appeared normal in Egypt’s capital, where authorities have cracked down on Islamists and other opponents since Mursi’s overthrow. Egyptian media, which is tightly controlled, gave the news little attention – only one newspaper, the privately owned Al-Masry Al-Youm, mentioned him on its front page.

But hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood members took to the streets of Turkey’s capital and Istanbul, some of them blaming Cairo authorities for the death.

Other former allies of Mursi and opponents of Egypt’s current president, former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, expressed their condolences on social media, some condemning the conditions in which Mursi had been held.

Mursi died on Monday after collapsing in a Cairo court while on trial on espionage charges, authorities and a medical source said. The 67-year-old had been in jail since being toppled after barely a year in power, following mass protests against his rule.

Mursi had been sentenced to more than 40 years in prison in separate trials, including for leading an outlawed group, spying for foreign country and terrorism.

He and other imprisoned Brotherhood leaders have rejected the rulings and denounced the trials as politically motivated to justify Mursi’s overthrow.

PRESSURE

There was a heavy security presence on Monday night around the Cairo prison where Mursi had been held and in Sharqiya, where security sources said the interior ministry had declared a state of alert.

No significant increase in security in central Cairo was noticeable on Tuesday morning.

Mursi’s death is a sensitive moment for Egyptian authorities. Under Sisi, who as army chief led Mursi’s ouster, they have conducted a crackdown against the Muslim Brotherhood and its followers, but say the group presents a continuing security threat.

The Brotherhood says it is a non-violent movement.

The death will increase international pressure on the Egyptian government over its human rights record, especially conditions in prisons where thousands of Islamists and secular activists are held.

Amnesty International called for an investigation. A British parliamentary panel said last year that Mursi received inadequate medical treatment for his diabetes and liver illness and was being kept in solitary confinement, which they warned could put his life in danger.

Egypt’s State Information Service, which liaises with the foreign media, said Mursi had submitted his last official request to a court regarding his health condition in November 2017, asking to be treated at his own expense. It said the court approved the request, and that an official report from the same year found Mursi was in good health but suffering from diabetes.

U.N. rights office calls for independent probe into Mursi death

GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations human rights office called on Tuesday for an independent investigation into the death of Egypt’s former President Mohamed Mursi, saying it should encompass all aspects of his treatment during nearly six years in custody.

Egypt’s Islamist ex-president was buried in a small family ceremony early on Tuesday a day after he suffered a fatal heart attack in court, his sons said, as supporters posted messages of grief and anger.

“Concerns have been raised regarding the conditions of Mr. Mursi’s detention, including access to adequate medical care, as well as sufficient access to his lawyers and family, during his nearly six years in custody. He also appears to have been held in prolonged solitary confinement,” U.N. human rights spokesman Rupert Colville said in a statement.

“The investigation should be carried out by a judicial or other competent authority that is independent of the detaining authority and mandated to conduct prompt, impartial and effective investigations into the circumstances and causes of his death,” he said.

TRIBUTES

The Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, named Morsi a “martyr.”

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have both called for a full investigation to be conducted. The Human Rights Watch commented that Morsi’s death was “entirely predictable” because the governments’ “failure to allow him adequate medical care.”

In a statement given to Al-Jazeera, Human Rights Watch states “The government of Egypt today bears responsibility for his death, given their failure to provide him with adequate medical care or basic prisoner rights.”

The circumstances of former president Mohamed Morsi’s death during trial are suspicious, as many demands for more answers. Comments from ordinary Egyptians were polarized, with Brotherhood supporters expressing anger at his treatment and accusing opponents of “gloating” over his death.

Former President of Egypt Mohamed Morsi dies in court

The former President of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi, collapsed during trial on Monday. He was rushed to the hospital and was proclaimed dead at 4:50 p.m., local time.

 

Former President Mohamed Morsi was elected in 2012, the first Egyptian president to be elected democratically. His election followed the downfall of Dictator Hosni Mubarak and the Arab Spring protests.

In the first year of Morsi’s presidency, he was met with accusations of mishandling the economy and creating an Islamist coup. Mohamed Morsi’s was ousted in 2013 by the government after mass protests and demonstrations. Since then, Morsi has been in prison, but still claims to be the rightful president.

The former defense minister, Abdel Fattah Sisi, took Morsi’s place as president after helping in the military coup that overthrew Mohamed Morsi’s presidency.

The Los Angeles Times reports, “Sisi presided over a dismantling of many basic freedoms in the name of fighting terrorism. At the same time, more radical Islamist groups emerged, waging an armed battle against Egypt’s security forces.”

Mohamed Morsi was on trial for espionage charges linked to suspicion of Morsi’s contact with the group Hamas. Morsi was allotted time to speak from within a cage, but collapsed after five minutes. After being rushed to a hospital in Cairo, he was pronounced dead.

Morsi was facing at least six trials, according to Al-Jazeera, including a 20 year prison sentence. His supporters claim the chargers against him are false and made in order to keep him behind bars.

The Egyptian state televised Mohamed Morsi’s death, displaying only a brief picture and statement. There is no official report yet, but Morsi’s body did not show signs of any recent injuries. The cause of death is speculated to be from a heart attack or a stroke.

The former president’s treatment in prison is being called into question, as many of his supporters believe he was not given proper medical treatment. Morsi was known to have diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney and liver disease. These medical ailments require medical treatment and medication, which he was not provided with in prison.

Morsi has spent the majority of his last six years of imprisonment in solitary confinement. Being kept in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day is considered torture. He also had limited visitation. His family was only allowed to visit three times in the six years he was in prison, all three times in the company of security.

Morsi’s lawyer Abdel Moneim Abdel Maqsoud stated that Morsi was also denied visitation from his lawyers and was not allowed any contact outside the prison.

Mohamed Morsi’s son posted the message “Dad, with God we meet.”

A report from a British panel assembled last year outwardly calls the prison conditions “cruel, inhuman and degrading.” On Monday, a member of the panel, Crispin Blunt, made the statement “We feared that if Dr. Morsi was not provided with urgent medical assistance, the damage to his health may be permanent and possibly terminal. Sadly, we have been proved right.”

 

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