The Latest: Amnesty urges Egypt to investigate Morsi’s death
CAIRO (AP) — The Latest on former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s death during a court hearing (all times local):
A leading human right group is urging Egypt to investigate the death of former President Mohammed Morsi.
Morsi, a Muslim Brotherhood leader who rose to office in the country’s first free elections in 2012 and was ousted a year later by the military, has collapsed during a court session on Monday and died.
Magdalena Mughrabi, deputy director for the Middle East at Amnesty International, says Morsi’s death “raises serious questions about his treatment in custody.”
She called for Egyptian authorities to order “an impartial, thorough and transparent investigation into the circumstances of his death, as well as his detention conditions and his ability to access medical care.”
The militant Hamas group has praised former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi for his stance toward the Gaza Strip, following his sudden death.
The Islamic group, which rules Gaza, said Monday it remembers Morsi’s “unforgettable and brave positions and his work to lift its siege.”
Israel and Egypt imposed a blockade on the Palestinian enclave after Hamas took control in 2007. During Morsi’s rule, Cairo eased travel and trade restrictions from its side significantly.
Hamas is part of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood movement, but the group has taken measures in recent years to reconcile with the current Egyptian authorities, removing from its founding charter parts that had stressed explicit affiliation with the Brotherhood.
Morsi has been in prison since the military removed him from power in 2013, following mass protests against his rule. During a court session on Monday, he collapsed and died.
Egypt’s chief prosecutor says authorities are examining the circumstances in the dramatic courtroom death of imprisoned ex-President Mohammed Morsi.
A statement by prosecutor Nabil Sadek says Morsi died after he spoke for five minutes during a court appearance Monday, before judges were set to announce a break.
It says prosecutors seized surveillance cameras in the courtroom, and ordered Morsi’s medical report.
The statement says a team of forensic experts is being assembled to examine Morsi’s body to determine the cause of his death.
Morsi, a member of Egypt’s largest Islamist group, the now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, was elected president in 2012. The military ousted him in 2013 after massive protests and crushed the Brotherhood in a major crackdown, arresting Morsi and many of the group’s leaders.
A defense lawyer says Egypt’s ousted President Mohammed Morsi spoke for around five minutes during a court appearance before collapsing inside the cage he was held in, and died.
Kamel Mandour, a member of the imprisoned leader’s defense team, says Morsi “was very calm and organized. He summarized our argument in three to five minutes. He insisted on a special tribunal as he is the president of the republic.”
Mandour said that the former president, on trial for espionage, refused to reveal state secrets. “He said he is a patriot, and loves Egypt and its people.”
Morsi, who hailed from Egypt’s largest Islamist group, the now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, was elected president in 2012. The military ousted Morsi in 2013 after massive protests and crushed the Brotherhood in a major crackdown, arresting Morsi and many others of the group’s leaders.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has offered his condolences to members of the Muslim Brotherhood and to the Egyptian people over the death of Egypt’s ousted President Mohammed Morsi.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Erdogan described Morsi as a “brother” and “martyr” while calling current President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who deposed him in 2013, “cruel.”
The 67-year-old Morsi was attending a session in his trial on espionage charges on Monday when he blacked out and then died.
Erdogan, who had close ties to Morsi said: “May Allah have mercy on our brother, our martyr Morsi.”
He added: “I offer my condolences to all of my brothers who walked the path with him. I offer my condolences to the Egyptian people.”
A leading rights group has said the death of imprisoned former President Mohammad Morsi was tragic but “predictable” given Egyptian authorities’ “failure” to allow medical care.
Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director with the Human Rights Watch, tweeted on Monday that Morsi’s death was “terrible but entirely predictable” given the government “failure to allow him adequate medical care, much less family visits.”
Morsi since his overthrow appeared only in court, almost always in a soundproof cage. His family said the 67-year-old Morsi suffered from ill health due to harsh conditions, including years of solitary confinement.
Mohammed Sudan, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood in London, says Morsi’s death is the equivalent of “premeditated murder” saying that the former president, in jail since 2013, was banned from receiving medicine or visits and there was little information about his health condition.
Sudan added that Morsi during his trial “has been placed behind glass cage. No one can hear him or know what is happening to him. He hasn’t received any visits for a months or nearly a year. He complained before that he doesn’t get his medicine.”
Egypt’s state TV says the country’s ousted President Mohammed Morsi has collapsed during a court session and died.
The state TV says the 67-year-old Morsi was attending a session Monday in his trial on espionage charges when he blacked out and then died. His body was taken to a hospital, it said.
Morsi’s son, Ahmed, confirmed the death of his father in a Facebook post.
Morsi, who hailed from Egypt’s largest Islamist group, the now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, was elected president in 2012 in the country’s first free elections following the ouster the year before of longtime leader Hosni Mubarak. The military ousted Morsi in 2013 after massive protests and crushed the Brotherhood in a major crackdown, arresting Morsi and many others of the group’s leaders.