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Egypt’s Mohammed Morsi hastily buried 24h after abrupt courtroom death



Mohammed Morsi, Egypt’s first democratically elected leader, has been surreptitiously buried under heavy security and with no press coverage just 24 hours after he abruptly died in a Cairo courtroom.

Morsi died of a reported heart attack on Monday afternoon while standing trial over claims he colluded with Hamas militants while leading Egypt’s Islamist Muslim Brotherhood party in 2012 and 2013.

The 67-year-old’s body was swiftly transferred from court to a Cairo hospital on Monday under secretive circumstances, then buried early on Tuesday, The Associated Press (AP) reported.

Then-presidential candidate Morsi at a rally in Cairo in May 2012.
Associated Press

No reporters attended the funeral and Egyptian security forces refused to let Morsi be laid to rest at his family cemetery in Sharqia province, Morsi’s son Ahmed told the AP on Tuesday.

Abdul-Moneim Abdel-Maqsoud, a member of Morsi’s defense team, told the AP that Morsi’s family went to early prayers on Tuesday and then to a burial site for famous Islamists in Cairo’s Nasr City district.

The specifics of how Morsi died are still unclear.

A news presenter on Egypt’s state TV network ERTU said on Monday evening, according to Al Jazeera: “Morsi died today while attending a session in his trial on espionage charges. During the session, he was granted permission to address the judge.”

“After the session was adjourned, the former president blacked out and then died. His body was taken to a hospital,” the presenter added.

Morsi stands behind a gated glass cage at a Cairo courtroom on Monday. He died shortly after.

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and abroad have long accused Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, the current president of Egypt, of keeping Morsi in poor jail conditions and not providing him sufficient medical care for his diabetes.

The Brotherhood wrote on their website on Monday that Morsi’s death was a “full-fledged murder,” Reuters reported.

Egypt’s public prosecutor, Nabil Ahmad Sadiq, said on Monday evening that there were “no recent external injuries on the body of the deceased,” the BBC reported.

Read more: Everything you wanted to know about the Muslim Brotherhood, the oldest political Islamist group in the Arab world

2013 protests in Cairo against then-Egyptian President Morsi.

Morsi swore in as Egypt’s first democratically-elected president in June 2012, and was deposed in a bloody military coup — led by then-Defense Minister el-Sissi — in July 2013.

Morsi was arrested that same month, and had been incarcerated — and in and out of court hearings — since then.

El-Sissi has for years accused Morsi of trying to turn Egypt into an Islamist republic, and criticized him for giving himself vast new powers and damaging the economy.

The Brotherhood have been designated an Islamist terror group by several Arab nations, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates.

US President Donald Trump said in April that he was considering labeling the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group.

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