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, 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.”
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.”
Meanwhile, the militant Hamas group praised him 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.