Human Rights Watch called Morsi’s death “terrible” but “entirely predictable”

Egypt’s former President Mohamed Morsi has died after appearing in court in the capital, Cairo, according to authorities.

The public prosecutor said the 67-year-old collapsed in a defendants’ cage in the courtroom and was pronounced dead in hospital at 4:50pm local time (02:50 GMT) on Monday. A medical report showed no apparent recent injuries on his body, the prosecutor said.

Morsi became Egypt’s first democratically elected president in 2012, one year after the Arab Spring uprising saw the end of President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule. He was then deposed in July 2013 following mass protests and a military coup led by Egypt’s current President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, and was immediately arrested. Morsi served just one year of a four-year term, while the organisation to which he belonged, the Muslim Brotherhood, has since been outlawed.

Human Rights Watch called the news of Morsi’s death “terrible” but “entirely predictable”, citing the government’s “failure to allow him adequate medical care”.

Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa division, called Morsi’s death “terrible but entirely predictable”, given the government’s failure to allow him adequate medical care.

“What we have been documenting for the past several years is the fact that he has been in the worst conditions. Every time he appeared before the judge, he requested private medical care and medical treatment,” Whitson told Al Jazeera.

“He was been deprived of adequate food and medicine. The Egyptian government had known very clearly about his declining medical state. He had lost a great deal of weight and had also fainted in court a number of times.

“He was kept in the solitary confinement with no access to television, email or any communication with friends and family,” Whitson said adding that there won’t be a credible independent investigation on Morsi’s death “because their [Egyptian government] job and role is to absolve themselves of wrongdoing ever”.

Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani offered his condolences to Morsi’s family and Egyptian people.

“We received with great sorrow the news of the sudden death of former president Dr Mohamed Morsi. I offer my deepest condolences to his family and Egyptian people. We belong to God and to him we shall return,” Sheikh Tamim said in a Twitter post.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkey, paid tribute to Morsi, calling him a “martyr”.

“May Allah rest our Morsi brother, our martyr’s soul in peace,” said Erdogan, who had forged close ties with the former president.

United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric offered condolences to Morsi’s relatives and supporters.

Source: Al Jazeera and other news agencies

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