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Human Rights Official on Morsi Death: 'Entirely Predictable'

Family, other critics: Mohamed Morsi's demise hastened by harsh treatment in prison
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2019 8:24 AM CDT
In this May 8, 2014, file photo, Egypt's ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, sits in a defendant cage in a courthouse in Cairo.   (AP Photo/Tarek el-Gabbas, File)

(Newser) – The cause of death of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, who died Monday after collapsing in court during his espionage trial: perhaps a heart attack or stroke, the Washington Post reports, citing local media and Egyptian authorities. The take of a Human Rights Watch official, however: "entirely predictable." Per the Los Angeles Times, from a top member of the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Morsi was a senior leader: "This is a murder, 100%." And from Morsi ally Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, per the BBC: Morsi's death was caused by "tyrants." These are just a few of the comments from human rights groups, Morsi family members, and other supporters who say the ex-president's demise was tied to his harsh treatment in prison, where he was denied not only appropriate health care, but also visits with family and attorneys.

The Post notes Morsi, who died at the age of 67, was kept in solitary confinement since he was ousted as president in 2013 by the military and immediately jailed, with family visits allowed just three times during that period. Supporters say he suffered from diabetes, liver disease, and high blood pressure, among other problems, with a rep from the nonprofit Project on Middle East Democracy claiming Morsi was "detained in inhumane conditions," per the Times. Amnesty International has requested an independent inquiry into how he was treated behind bars. "It's not a regular death," the Muslim Brotherhood official says. In a statement cited by the Post, Egypt’s State Information Service calls allegations of mistreatment "unfounded" and a "new ethical low." Morsi was buried Tuesday in eastern Cairo, his son and lawyer confirmed, per Al Jazeera. (Read more Mohamed Morsi stories.)

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