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Amnesty International calls for an immediate inquiry into the death of former Egyptian President

Amnesty International has called for an impartial inquiry into the death of former Egyptian President, Mohamed Morsi, who died in court on 17 June.

In a statement Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa said:

“The Egyptian authorities must immediately 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”.

Amnesty has raised concerns over Egypt’s treatment of prisoners, stating, “Egyptian authorities have an appalling track record of detaining prisoners in prolonged solitary confinement and in dire conditions as well as subjecting prisoners to torture and other ill-treatment”.

In particular, they have raised concerns over Morsi’s specific treatment stating that he “was held in solitary confinement for almost six years, placing a considerable strain on his mental and physical wellbeing and violating the absolute prohibition against torture and other ill-treatment under international law. During this six-year period, he was effectively cut off from the outside world - he was allowed only three family visits and was prevented from access to his lawyers or a doctor”. 

Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of Human Rights Watch's Middle East and North Africa division, responded to Morsi’s death stating it was "terrible but entirely predictable", given the government's failure to allow him adequate medical care.

Whitson further stated:

"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".

She further expressed concern that there would not be a credible independent investigation on Morsi's death "because their [Egyptian government] job and role is to absolve themselves of wrongdoing ever”.

Mohammed Sudan, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood in London, described Morsi's death as "premeditated murder”. Commenting on his solitary confinement, Sudan said; 

"He has been placed behind [a] glass cage [during trials]. No one can hear him or know what is happening to him. He hasn't received any visits for months or nearly a year. He complained before that he doesn't get his medicine. This is premeditated murder. This is slow death.”

Read amnesty’s statement here and here.