Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Erdogan claims ex-Egyptian president was killed

ISTANBUL: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has claimed that former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi didn’t die of natural causes, but that he was killed.

During a speech in Istanbul, Erdogan cited as evidence that the deposed Egyptian president allegedly “flailed” in a Cairo courtroom for 20 minutes Monday and nobody assisted him.

The Turkish leader said Wednesday: “Unfortunately, Mohammed Morsi was on the ground of the courtroom flailing for 20 minutes. No official there intervened. Morsi did not (die) naturally, he was killed. Erdogan said Turkey would do everything in its power to ensure Egypt faces trial in Morsi’s death. He also called on the Islamic Cooperation Organization to “take the necessary action” over Morsi’s death.”

A previous version of this story was corrected to show that the speech was made Wednesday, not Thursday.

Former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has been buried hours after he collapsed in court and died on Monday. His lawyer told the AFP news agency the former leader had been buried in eastern Cairo early on Tuesday morning with his family present. Morsi, who was 67, had been in custody since his removal from office in 2013. Human rights groups, who had criticised the conditions in which he was kept, have called for an impartial investigation into his death.

His family and activists had repeatedly raised concerns about his health and the amount of time he was kept in solitary confinement, away from visits by lawyers and family. His son, Abdullah Mohamed Morsi, told Reuters on Monday that Egyptian authorities had denied a family request for a public funeral in his hometown.

A police presence was seen at the cemetery where Morsi was buried in Cairo. A top figure in the now-banned Islamist movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi became the country’s first democratically elected leader in 2012.

He was ousted and detained in a military coup a year later following mass protests against his rule.

Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, a former army chief, has been in power since 2014.

After Morsi’s removal, the authorities launched a crackdown on his supporters and other dissent, leading to tens of thousands of arrests. The Muslim Brotherhood and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a close ally of Morsi, are among those who have blamed the Egyptian leadership for Morsi’s death.

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