Jonathan Rashad/Flickr

World News


Egypt’s Former President Morsi Dies in Court

Ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has died at the age of 67 in Cairo after collapsing in court on Monday.

Several media sources reported that Morsi collapsed in a glass cage during session after he had addressed the court for five minutes. Egyptian state television announced that Morsi had been attending a court session at his trial on charges of espionage and links with the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

It was reported that his body was transferred to a local hospital but Morsi died on arrival. He was buried on Tuesday, June 18, 2019.

Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood leader, rose to office in the country’s first free elections in 2012 and was ousted a year later on July 3, 2013, by Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

Al-Sisi ousted Morsi after massive protests against the Brotherhood’s domination of power and was subsequently elected as president. Since his takeover, el-Sisi has waged a brutal crackdown on Islamists and other opponents. Morsi was one of those detained.

Human Rights Watch has described the charges against Morsi as politically motivated. The group’s Middle East director, Sarah Leah Whitson, said on Twitter on Monday that Morsi’s imprisonment was “cruel and inhumane” and said he was “deprived of family visits and medical care.”

Reasons Are yet Unknown

The reasons for his sudden death remain unknown. Citing a medical source, Egyptian state television reported early on Tuesday that Morsi died from a sudden heart attack. According to that medical source, Morsi was suffering from a benign tumor and had received continuous medical attention.

Attorney-General Nabil Sadiq issued a statement saying: “The accused, Mohammed Morsi, in the presence of the other defendants inside the cage, fell unconscious, where he was immediately transferred to the hospital. The preliminary medical report stated that by external medical examination they found no pulse, no breathing, and his eyes were unresponsive to light. He died at 4:50 p.m. and no apparent injuries to the body were found.”

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party said in a statement published on its website that Egyptian authorities are responsible for Morsi’s “deliberate slow death” because they “withheld medication and gave him disgusting food. They did not give him the most basic human rights.” The group called for mass protests at his funeral in Egypt as well as at Egyptian embassies around the world.

Mohammed Sudan, the leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood in London, said “This is premeditated murder. This is a slow death.”

Following his deposition and arrest, Morsi was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2016, over clashes that took place in 2012 in front of the presidential palace in Cairo, between supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and opponents of Morsi. He has faced multiple trials on charges that included spying for Iran and Qatar and for the killing of Egyptian protesters during demonstrations in 2012. With all the accusations and sentences against Morsi, his total incarceration could have been up to 48 years.

Morsi’s son, Ahmed Morsi, confirmed on his Facebook page that “his father was buried in the Muslim Brotherhood’s cemetery on the outskirts of Cairo.”

Ahmed Morsi added that the burial took place in the presence of his family in Nasr City “because security forces refused his burial in the family cemetery in Eastern province.”