Egyptian state television announced on 17 June that Mohamed Morsi the deposed president, had collapsed and died during his trial on espionage cases. Morsi had been the first elected president of Egypt in 2013 before the army deposed him after popular demonstrations against his rule. Morsi was sentenced to death but earned a reprieve when the sentence was set aside, but he was awarded 45 years in prison.

Morsi was kept in a soundproof glass cage during the trial. This points to the fact that the conditions of his detention were poor. He was allowed only three visits by his lawyers and relatives during the last two years and was generally kept in solitary confinement. BBC has reported that there has been a concern from many quarters about the politicized trials which have kept him in prison, as well as his conditions of confinement.

Morsi had a history of ill-health.

Morsi was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and became the first elected president of Egypt. His sectarian policies were his undoing and demonstrations broke out all over Egypt against his rule, forcing the army to step in. Morsi was deposed and arrested and has been in prison for the last six years.

Detention

The conditions of his imprisonment were far from satisfactory, and a British parliamentary panel led by Crispin Blunt had concluded that he was kept in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day.

The panel had warned that this type of detention could be termed "torture' and even lead to his death.

Morsi evoked strong feelings for and against him. The Turkish president Erdogan considered him a friend. He has held the "tyrants" ruling Egypt responsible for his death. The Muslim Brotherhood is banned. The NY Times has reported that in April, President Trump who recently had a joust with the Mayor of London, moved to designate the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization on pressure from the Egyptian dictator General el-Sisi. The general is a close ally of the USA.

End of a sordid chapter

The death of Mohamed Morsi closes a shameful chapter in Egyptian history. He will, however, be remembered as the first elected president of Egypt which for decades from the time of Nassar has been ruled by dictators. Morsi had a chance to reverse that trend, but he muffed it by attempting to Islamize the nation which was resented by the majority of the population. This gave the opening to the army to seize power and once again usher in a dictatorship.

The present President El-Sisi has voted himself into power till 2030 in a referendum of doubtful validity.

The Court prosecutor has said that the death of Mohamad Morsi will be investigated and footage of the time will be examined. Morsi had diabetes, and there is a chance that as alleged by his son, did not receive proper medical care. Whatever the result of the inquiry, which in any case will not go against the government, the death of Morsi brings the curtain down on a man who created history by being the first and only elected president of Egypt.

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