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Thursday, November 30, 2023

Morsi: Egypt’s first democratically elected President dies in court

Former Egyptian leader laid to rest at 5 a.m. local time in Nasr City, says source with his legal team

Anadolu |

Egypt’s first popularly elected president, Mohamed Morsi, was buried early Tuesday in the presence of only his family members and lawyers, said a source with his legal team.

The former leader, who reportedly died from a heart attack Monday during a court session, was buried at 5 a.m. (0300GMT) local time in Nasr City, east of Cairo amid tight security, according to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

A leaked document on social media purportedly said that the funeral attendees were Morsi’s brother, son, wife and two lawyers. The authenticity of the document could not be independently verified.

Earlier, Egyptian authorities rejected a request by Morsi’s family to bury him in his hometown in Sharqia Province, his son, Abdullah Mohamed Morsi, told Reuters on Monday.

At the very least, the Egyptian government committed grave abuses against Morsi by denying him prisoners’ rights that met minimum standards

The country’s state television reported early Tuesday that Morsi was “suffering from a benign tumor, had continuous medical attention and his death was caused by a heart attack”.

Earlier Monday, Egypt’s public prosecutor Nabil Sadek said the 67-year-old leader collapsed in the defendants’ cage and was immediately rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

There were no marks from injuries on his body, Sadek said.

A leading member of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood group, Morsi won Egypt’s first free presidential election in 2012.

Mohamed Morsi’s Political Career

After only one year in office, however, he was ousted and imprisoned in a bloody military coup led by Egypt’s then defense minister and current president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

At the time of his death, Morsi faced a host of legal charges, which he, along with numerous human rights groups and independent observers, said were politically motivated.

According to his family, Morsi had diabetes and kidney disease and had not been provided with proper medical treatment.

Amnesty International said that during his six-year sentence, he was cut off from the outside world and allowed only three family visits. He was also prevented from access to his lawyers or a doctor, said the rights body.

Grave Violation of Human Rights

Human Rights Watch called for an international investigation by the UN into the death of the late leader. It said earlier that the news of his death was “terrible but entirely predictable” due to inadequate medical care.

It said the treatment of the ex-president violates international law and may amount to torture under the UN Convention against Torture.

“Former President Morsi’s death followed years of government mistreatment, prolonged solitary confinement, inadequate medical care and deprivation of family visits and access to lawyers,” Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch, said in a press release.

“At the very least, the Egyptian government committed grave abuses against Morsi by denying him prisoners’ rights that met minimum standards.”

The Guardian dedicated an obituary to Mohamed Morsi:

Mohamed Morsi obituary

Morsi’s Death Sparked National and International Outrage

The Egyptian Revolutionary Council (ERC) accused Western governments of hypocrisy for supporting and aiding the military regime of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who overthrew Morsi’s democratically elected government in 2013, while remaining silent over the mass human rights abuses committed by Sisi in the years since the military coup.

“The ERC calls on all human rights organizations and all Western governments to pressure the military regime in Egypt to accept an independent third-party investigation into his death, which we maintain was a result of a premeditated policy by the military regime,” it said in a press release.

Read more: Pompeo praises Egypt ‘freedoms’ during church, mosque visit

“The ERC notes in contrast how Western governments, despite the rhetoric of standing for the values and principles of democracy, chose to back a military regime that came to power on the back of murder, torture and rape for the sake of narrow self-interests,” it added.

The Muslim Brotherhood previously called on the UN to push for adequate medical treatment for the ex-president, citing his neglect while detained, according to London-based online news outlet Middle East Eye.

Turkey became the first country to react to Morsi’s death, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan calling him “a martyr who died struggling for his cause” and saying that history will never forget the tyrants who caused his martyrdom.

In a statement, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said Morsi will be remembered as “an exceptional person in his country’s struggle for democracy”.

Funeral prayers in absentia will be held in mosques across Turkey on Tuesday for Morsi.

Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani also mourned Morsi and offered condolences to his family and the Egyptian people.

In a statement, the Muslim Brotherhood called Morsi’s death a “deliberate killing” and blamed the Egyptian government for placing him in solitary confinement and depriving him of medical treatment.

Since Morsi’s ouster, Egypt’s post-coup authorities have waged a relentless crackdown on dissent, killing hundreds of the former president’s supporters and throwing thousands in jail on “violence” charges.

Shortly after the coup, Morsi’s party, the Muslim Brotherhood, was officially designated a “terrorist organization” in Egypt.

Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk