Former Egyptian president Morsi on the ‘edge of death’

Panel of British MPs finds harsh prison conditions could lead to ousted leader Mohamed Morsi’s early death.

Former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi is being detained in standards lower than those sanctioned by international law, which could lead to an early death, a panel of British MPs and lawyers said.

In a report released on Wednesday, the Detention Review Panel (DRP), which was commissioned by Morsi’s family, said the former leader is “receiving inadequate medical care, particularly inadequate management of his diabetes, and inadequate management of his liver disease”.

“The consequence of this inadequate care is likely to be rapid deterioration of his long-term conditions, which is likely to lead to premature death,” it said.

The panel said the conditions of his detention could meet the threshold for torture in accordance with Egyptian and international law. It added President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi “could, in principle, be responsible for the crime of torture”.

Morsi, 67, was democratically elected after Egypt’s 2011 revolution. He was then deposed following mass protests and a military coup in July 2013.

He served just one year of a four-year term, while the organisation of which he belonged, the Muslim Brotherhood, has since been outlawed.

Since his removal, Morsi has been tried in several different cases.

In April 2015, he was sentenced to 20 years on charges of ordering the arrest and torture of protesters in clashes outside the presidential palace in 2012.

In September 2016, he was sentenced to another 25 years in prison on charges of passing intelligence to Qatar. In December 2017, Morsi was also sentenced to three years on charges of insulting the judiciary.

He is now being held at the infamous Tora Prison, also known as Scorpion Prison, where the DRP said he has been held in solitary confinement for about three years.

The panel, led by MP Crispin Blunt, said it was able to gather information about Morsi’s detention from several sources, including testimony from Morsi’s son as well as medical professionals informed of the former president’s condition.

The DRP had originally requested to visit Morsi and assess his detention conditions firsthand, but the panel said it did not hear back from the Egyptian government.

The release of the report cames as Egypt wrapped up a three-day presidential election, which Sisi is expected to easily win.

The National Election Authority cleared Sisi and Mousa Mustafa Mousa to run.

Mousa is a little-known politician who joined the race at the last minute after several potential candidates were forced out or arrested.

Mousa had endorsed Sisi for a second term and even organised events to help nominate the former military chief up until a week before the nomination deadline.


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