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Egypt’s first democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi dies in court (1951-2019)

Egypt’s former president Mohamed Morsi collapsed and died on Monday, June 17 in a Cairo court soon after making a speech during his trial on espionage charges.

The 67-year-old who was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood won the 2012 election with 51% after the 2011 revolution becoming Egypt’s first democratically elected leader.

A series of mistakes by Morsi during his 1-year presidency led to mass protests and his eventual ouster by the military led by Abdel Fattah el-Sisi who has been in power since 2014.

Morsi was immediately placed on house arrest and later transferred to jail, over the years he went through multiple trials and was sentenced to a total of 48 years in prison.

During one of his many court appearances, Morsi told judges he suffered diabetic comas in detention because of the lack of proper medical attention.

He was buried in Nasr City on Tuesday under heavy security after the Egyptian government refused to allow burial at the family grounds in Sharqiyah province.

According to Islamic law, the deceased should be buried as soon as possible. Muslim burial rites are commonly performed the same day or within 24 hours of death.

The Muslim Brotherhood described Morsi’s death as an “assassination”, while Turkish President Erdogan blamed Egypt’s “tyrants” for his death and described him as a martyr.

A statement from Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, pointed to Egypt’s obligations to treat its prisoners humanely in calling for an investigation.

“Concerns have been raised regarding the conditions of Mr Morsi’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,” he said.

“We believe it is clear there must be a thorough independent inquiry into the circumstances of Mr Morsi’s death, including the conditions of his detention,” he added.

Mohammed Morsi short-biography

  • Born on 8 August 1951 in the village of El-Adwah in Egypt
  • BA in Engineering (Cairo University, 1975)
  • Military service (1975-1976)
  • MS in metallurgical engineering (Cairo University, 1978)
  • PhD in materials science (University of Southern California, 1982)
  • Assistant professor at California State University, Northridge (1982-1985)
  • Professor at Zagazig University (1985-2010)
  • MP (2000-20005)
  • Became the Muslim Brotherhood’s presidential candidate after Khairat El-Shater was disqualified from the 2012 election
  • President (30 June 2012 to 3 July 2013)
  • Died 17 June 2019 in Cairo, Egypt
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