Egypt’s ousted president Mohamed Morsi dies in court while facing trial, state television reports - Khorgist.com

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Monday, 17 June 2019

Egypt’s ousted president Mohamed Morsi dies in court while facing trial, state television reports

Former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, shown in 2012, died Monday during a trial session in an espionage case in Cairo, according to Egyptian media reports. (Khaled Elfiqi/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)



CAIRO — Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected president, collapsed in court and died Monday while facing trial, state television reported.

Morsi, 67, died of an apparent heart attack, according to Egyptian media reports. He had been imprisoned since 2013, when his elected government was overthrown in a military coup led by the country’s then-military leader, Gen. Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, who is now president.

But as news of his death spread, Morsi’s backers and allies raised questions about his treatment in prison. The former president was known to have been suffering from several ailments, including diabetes and liver disease.

A panel of British politicians and lawyers concluded last year that Morsi had received “inadequate medical care” and found that the conditions of detention could meet the threshold for “torture.”

“We feared that if Dr. Morsi was not provided with urgent medical assistance, the damage to his health may be permanent and possibly terminal,” Crispin Blunt, a British lawmaker who chaired the panel, said in a statement Monday. “Sadly, we have been proved right.”

[My father was president of Egypt. Now he’s in solitary confinement.]

Blunt called for an independent international investigation into Morsi’s death.

Morsi, a top leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, was elected in 2012 after the nation’s Arab Spring revolts that toppled President Hosni Mubarak. Following the military takeover, Morsi was convicted in trials that were denounced as politically motivated by his supporters, Western diplomats and human rights activists.

For the past six years, he has remained largely in solitary confinement.

On Monday, he was in court to face trial on a range of charges, including espionage and inciting violence.

After Sissi was elected president in 2014, he began dismantling the Muslim Brotherhood, banning the party and arresting tens of thousands of the movement’s members and supporters.

When Morsi won office in the first, and only, presidential elections in the country’s history widely considered to be free and fair, Egyptians hoped their nation might be entering a momentous democratic transition, building on the aspirations of their revolution.

Morsi promised an inclusive government, open to all Egyptians, but his tenure quickly eroded with accusations that he was stacking the government power structure with Islamists from the Muslim Brotherhood, a Sunni Muslim religious, political and social movement founded in Egypt in 1928 that became a controversial force in the Arab World.

[Gallery: Egypt’s ousted president Morsi sentenced to 20 years in prison]

On the streets, Egyptians criticized Morsi’s government for mishandling the economy and failing to deliver on election promises, especially regarding basic human rights and social justice. Massive protests erupted after Morsi issued a decree granting himself unlimited powers to enable him to push through a new constitution.

By the end of 2012, tensions were at boiling point amid clashes between Morsi’s supporters and opponents divided over his leadership. Protesters accused Morsi of becoming an authoritarian and betraying the hopes of the revolution.

The turmoil prompted Sissi, then chief of the armed forces, to warn that the political crisis could lead to the collapse of the government.

In June 2013, huge crowds turned out across the country, calling for Morsi to step down and demanding new presidential elections. In a speech to mark his first anniversary as president, Morsi vowed to correct his “mistakes.”

The military warned him publicly to meet the people’s demands, prompting Morsi to declare publicly that he was Egypt’s legitimately elected leader.

Days after another massive street demonstration, the military seized power, suspending the constitution and announcing the formation of an interim government. Morsi was taken by soldiers to an undisclosed location.















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