Egypt's ousted president Mohammed Morsi has been swiftly and secretly buried amid high security — less than 24 hours after his shock death in the middle of an espionage trial

  • Mohammed Morsi – Egypt’s first democratically-elected leader – has been hastily buried after abruptly dying from an apparent heart attack in court on Monday.
  • Morsi was buried in an Islamist graveyard early on Tuesday, after Egyptian security forces denied his family’s request to bury him at the family graveyard, his son Ahmed told The Associated Press.
  • No press were in attendance and the government posted nothing about the funeral. Egyptian media has reportedly largely ignored his death.
  • Morsi had been standing trial over claims that his Muslim Brotherhood government colluded with Hamas militants in 2013. He had been incarcerated since his administration was toppled in 2013.
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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.

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 defence 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.

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

It is not uncommon for Muslims to be buried well within 24 hours of dying, due to sanitary concerns.

Morsi swore in as Egypt’s first democratically-elected president in June 2012, and was deposed in a bloody military coup – led by then-Defence 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 criticised 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 labelling the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group.

Human Right’s Watch declared on Monday that Egyptian investigators must look into allegations Morsi was poorly treated during his six-year incarceration.

“Former President Morsy’s [sic] death followed years of government mistreatment, prolonged solitary confinement, inadequate medical care, and deprivation of family visits and access to lawyers,” Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch, said.

“At the very least, the Egyptian government committed grave abuses against Morsy by denying him prisoners’ rights that met minimum standards.”

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