president Mohammed Morsi dies during trial
Live desk: Egypt's former President Mohammed Morsi, who was ousted by the military in 2013, has died after fainting in a courtroom, officials say. Morsi was buried early in the morning alongside other senior figures of the Muslim Brotherhood, his son, Ahmed Morsi, said on his Facebook page.
A top figure in the now-banned Islamist movement Muslim Brotherhood, Morsi collapsed in a cage after speaking at a hearing on charges of espionage, BBC reports.
Morsi, who was 67, had been in custody since being ousted following mass protests a year after he took office. Officials then launched a crackdown on his and Muslim Brotherhood supporters.
Morsi's hearing in the capital, Cairo, was related to charges of espionage emanating from suspected contacts with the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.
He collapsed moments after addressing the court from a cage some defendants are kept in during sessions, Egypt's public prosecutor said, adding that a medical report showed no apparent recent injuries on Morsi's body.
For a long time, there have been concerns over the former leader's prison conditions. Last October his youngest son, Abdullah, told AP news agency that his father was being held under constant solitary confinement and denied treatment for serious conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes.
Five months earlier, Abdullah said in a Washington Post op-ed that the Egyptian authorities were "doing this on purpose, since they want to see him dead 'from natural causes' as soon as possible".
The death of a leader, remembered by many as Egypt's first democratically elected president, is certain to inflame passions among his supporters and allies in Egypt and beyond. Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been quick to describe him as a martyr. Others are certain to do the same.
There has long been concern about the politicised trials which have kept him in prison, as well as his conditions of confinement. Morsi had a history of ill-health.
But last year, a British parliamentary panel reported he was being kept in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day, which they concluded could be classified as torture. They warned this could lead to premature death.
His sudden collapse comes at a time when the United States, reportedly at the request of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, is working to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organisation. The death of one its most senior figures will deepen the anger and anxiety in this global Islamist movement.
The 67-year-old, who had been behind bars for nearly six years, had a long history of health issues, including suffering from diabetes, as well as liver and kidney disease.
Morsi, who was facing at least six trials, was serving a 20-year prison sentence for a conviction arising from the killing of protesters during demonstrations in 2012. He was also serving a life sentence for espionage in a case related to the Gulf state of Qatar.
Other charges against the former president included jailbreak, insulting the judiciary and involvement in "terrorism".
His supporters say the charges against him were politically motivated.
In November 2016, the Court of Cassation scrapped the life imprisonment sentence for Morsi and 21 other defendants, including some who had received the death penalty in the same case, and ordered a retrial.
Throughout his imprisonment, Morsi was only allowed three visits from his family.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was the first world leader to pay tribute to Morsi, calling him a "martyr."
"May Allah rest our brother Morsi, our martyr's soul in peace," said Erdogan, who had forged close ties with late former president.
Erdogan blamed Egypt's "tyrants" for Morsi's death.
"History will never forget those tyrants who led to his death by putting him in jail and threatening him with execution," Erdogan, a close ally of Morsi, said in a televised speech in Istanbul.
'Mistreatment of detainees'
There have been various reports over the years that Morsi had been mistreated and tortured in jail, with activists saying on Monday his death should be seen in context of the Egyptian authorities' systematic isolation and mistreatment of political detainees.
Human Rights Watch called the news of Morsi's death "terrible" but "entirely predictable", citing the government's "failure to allow him adequate medical care".
"The government of Egypt today bears responsibility for his death, given their failure to provide him with adequate medical care or basic prisoner rights," the group said in a statement to Al Jazeera.
Amnesty International said the Egyptian government bears responsibility for the death of the former president, amid pressing international demands for a fair and transparent investigation into the circumstances surrounding his final hours.
According to authorities, the former president died on Monday after collapsing in a court in Cairo while on trial on espionage charges. The Egyptian public prosecutor said a medical report showed no apparent recent injuries on Morsi's body.
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