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Nigeria
August 24, 2019
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World News

MORSI BURIED IN CAIRO


Egypt’s first democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi has been buried in Cairo his lawyer said, just a day after he collapsed in court and died.

Rights groups called for an independent probe into the detention conditions and death of the Islamist, who was ousted in 2013 after a year of divisive rule.

Egypt’s State TV said the 67-year-old’s death was due to a cardiac arrest.

According to one of his lawyer Abdel Moneim Abdel Maksoud, Morsi was buried in Medinat Nasr, in eastern Cairo, with his family present.

Morsi, also the country’s first civilian president, had appeared “animated” during a hearing in a retrial over charges of collaborating with foreign powers and militant groups, judicial and security sources said.

The court granted him his request to speak for five minutes. He fell to the ground in the cage and was transported immediately to the hospital. A medical report found… no pulse or breathing, according to the attorney general’s office.

Since Morsi’s overthrow on July 3, 2013, his former defence minister, now President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, has waged an ongoing crackdown that has seen thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters jailed and hundreds facing death sentences.

Morsi last saw his family in September 2018. A month later, one of his sons, Abdallah, was arrested.

Abdel Maksoud was the last member of his defence team to see the former Islamist president, in November 2017.

The Brotherhood’s political wing — the Freedom and Justice Party — accused Egyptian authorities of “deliberately killing him slowly”.

They had said : “ They (Egyptian government) had put him in solitary confinement… they withheld medication and gave him disgusting food… they did not grant him the most basic human rights,” they said in a statement.

Rights group Amnesty International called on Egyptian authorities to open “an impartial, thorough and transparent investigation probe” into Morsi’s death and his detention conditions.

Human Rights Watch echoed that demand, saying Morsi had suffered years of “insufficient access to medical care”.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a strong ally of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, paid tribute to the “martyr”.

The Gaza-based Palestinian movement Hamas, originally an offshoot of the Brotherhood, also hailed Morsi’s influence.

Iran’s Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi called his death “sad and unfortunate” and said that “while respecting the views of the great nation of Egypt, offers its condolences.”

Internationally he received some support, but in his homeland, Morsi has a chequered legacy.

He spent just one turbulent year in office after the 2011 uprising, before being toppled by the military after millions took to the streets demanding his resignation.

The Islamist leader has been in prison since his ouster, on trial in several cases including for spying for Iran, Qatar and militant groups such as Hamas.

Morsi was also accused of plotting terrorist acts.

He was sentenced to death in May 2015 for his role in jailbreaks during the uprising that ousted his predecessor, longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

His death comes days before Egypt hosts the Africa Cup of Nations football tournament, starting Friday.

Authorities have been on high alert, announcing on Facebook Wednesday that thousands of forces would be deployed to secure venues.

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