Morsi's death reveals concerns over prisoners in Egyptian jails

DAILY SABAH
Istanbul
Published 25.06.2019 00:18

The shocking death of Egypt's first and only democratic president, Mohammed Morsi, in an Egyptian courtroom has put the spotlight on the dire conditions faced by political prisoners in the country.

Muslim Brotherhood spokesperson Talaat Fehmi warned that around 60,000 prisoners' lives have been in jeopardy, underscoring "violent human rights violations in the Egyptian jails." Fehmi also called on the U.N. to make the move for prisoners who "killed slowly" in jails by Egyptian authorities.

Following Morsi's sudden death on June 17, Turkish leaders have decried his mistreatment and suggested that his death was no accident.

Amnesty International and other rights groups have called for a fair, transparent and comprehensive investigation into Morsi's death and raised questions about his treatment in prison.

Egypt's government has dismissed accusations that he was badly treated. Morsi's son Abdullah has accused President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and a number of officials of "killing" his father.

In a tweet last week, the late president's son named a number of officials, whom he called "partners" of Sissi "in killing the martyred president." He particularly accused incumbent and former Interior Ministers Mahmoud Tawfiq and Magdy Abdel Ghaffar, respectively.

In 2013, then-Defense Minister Gen. Sissi led a bloody military coup, ousting Egypt's first democratically elected president, Morsi.

Since then, a harsh crackdown on dissidents, not only the Muslim Brotherhood but anyone who opposed el-Sissi, has commenced. The latest constitutional referendum last month paved the way for Sissi to remain in power until 2030. Despite the country's struggle for economic amelioration, human rights violations have become alarming.

Human rights groups have said conditions in the detention centers, including medical and nutritional supplies are insufficient. Likewise, in an article by Maged Mandour published by Sada, an online platform under Carnegie International, it is believed that Egyptian security forces deliberately deprive the detainees of food so they will die of starvation.

"In 2015, for example, the Nadeem Center documented 81 cases of death in detention centers due to medical negligence – separate from the 137 they listed as having been directly killed inside detention centers. This number remained consistent in 2016, at 80 cases. Before that, there were 170 documented cases of death due to medical negligence starting from July 2013 until May 2015. The trend has continued, with seven detainees dying from medical negligence in January 2019 alone," the article read.

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