Mohamed Morsi's death: World reaction


Malaysia, Qatar pay tribute to former Egyptian president, but reaction from other governments has been largely muted.

Morsi had been in jail since he was toppled by the military in 2013 after mass protests against his rule [File: Mark Wilson/Reuters]
Morsi had been in jail since he was toppled by the military in 2013 after mass protests against his rule [File: Mark Wilson/Reuters]

The United Nations has called for an “independent inquiry” into the death of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, who died aged 67 after collapsing in a Cairo court on Monday, according to state media.

Morsi, who was buried on Tuesday, was a top figure in the Muslim Brotherhood and the first democratically elected president in Egypt’s modern history.

He had been in jail since he was toppled by the military in 2013 after mass protests against his rule.

His death has been mourned by many people around the world, including in Turkey where mosques held special prayers on Tuesday, while leaders in Malaysia and Qatar offered tributes.
However, the reaction has been largely muted in many capitals.
Here are some of the statements on the sudden death of Morsi:

UN rights office calls for ‘transparent investigation’

The United Nations human rights office has called for a “prompt, impartial, thorough and transparent investigation” into Morsi’s death.
“Concerns have been raised regarding the conditions of Mr. Morsi’s detention, including access to adequate medical care, as well as sufficient access to his lawyers and family, during his nearly six years in custody,” Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said on Monday.

Tunisia’s Ennahda party

The Tunisian Ennahda political party said it received the news with great sadness and shock and extended condolences to Morsi’s family and the Egyptian people.
The movement expressed hope that “the painful incident would be a reason to put an end to the suffering of thousands of political prisoners in Egypt” and for starting dialogue for a new democratic political life in Egypt.

Jordan’s Muslim Brotherood

Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood held “the coup authorities in Egypt responsible for Morsi’s death after his detention for seven years in solitary imprisonment”.
The group also held the international community responsible for “the crimes of the coup” in Egypt.

Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani

Doha funeral prayer for Morsi
People attend the funeral prayer in absentia for former President of Egypt Mohamed Morsi at Muneera Al Suwaidi Mosque in Doha, Qatar [Serdar Bitmez/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images]

Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani offered his condolences to Morsi’s family and Egyptian people.
“We received with great sorrow the news of the sudden death of former president Dr Mohamed Morsi. I offer my deepest condolences to his family and Egyptian people. We belong to God and to him we shall return,” Sheikh Tamim said in a Twitter post.

تميم بن حمد


تلقينا ببالغ الأسى نبأ الوفاة المفاجئة للرئيس السابق الدكتور محمد مرسي .. أتقدم إلى عائلته وإلى الشعب المصري الشقيق بخالص العزاء.. إنا لله وإنا إليه راجعون

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Turkey prayers for Morsi
People attend a symbolic funeral prayer for Mohamed Morsi at the courtyard of Fatih Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey [Murad Sezer/Reuters]

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkey, on Monday blamed Egypt’s “tyrants” for the death of Morsi.
“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.
The Turkish leader called the former Egyptian president a “martyr,” Turkey had been among Morsi’s biggest supporters.
“May Allah rest our Morsi brother, our martyr’s soul in peace,” said Erdogan, who had forged close ties with the former president.
Thousands in Istanbul joined in prayer on Tuesday for Morsi on Tuesday. The prayer was called by Turkey’s religious authority Diyanet and took place in the city’s Fatih mosque.
Erdogan is expected to attend an absentee funeral for Morsi in Istanbul on Tuesday.

United Nations

United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric offered condolences to Morsi’s relatives and supporters.

Human Rights Watch

Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of Human Rights Watch‘s Middle East and North Africa division, called Morsi’s death “terrible but entirely predictable”, given the government’s failure to allow him adequate medical care.
“What we have been documenting for the past several years is the fact that he has been in the worst conditions. Every time he appeared before the judge, he requested private medical care and medical treatment,” Whitson told Al Jazeera.
“He was been deprived of adequate food and medicine. The Egyptian government had known very clearly about his declining medical state. He had lost a great deal of weight and had also fainted in court a number of times.
“He was kept in the solitary confinement with no access to television, email or any communication with friends and family,” Whitson said, arguing that there would not be a credible independent investigation on Morsi’s death “because their [Egyptian government] job and role is to absolve themselves of wrongdoing ever”.

Sarah Leah Whitson


BREAKING – news says only democratically elected Pres has died in prison after stroke. This is terrible but ENTIRELY predictable, given govt failure to allow him adequate medical care, much less family visits. @hrw was just finalizing a report on his health.

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Mohamed Morsi’s son

In a Facebook post, Morsi’s son, Ahmed, confirmed the death of his father.
“In front of Allah, my father and we shall unite,” he wrote.

Muslim Brotherhood

Mohammed Sudan, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood in London, described Morsi’s death as “premeditated murder”, saying that the former president was banned from receiving medicine or visits and there was little information about his health condition.


Obituary: Egypt’s first freely elected President Mohamed Morsi

“He has been placed behind [a] glass cage [during trials]. No one can hear him or know what is happening to him. He hasn’t received any visits for months or nearly a year. He complained before that he doesn’t get his medicine. This is premeditated murder. This is slow death.”
The Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice political party said in a statement that Egyptian authorities is responsible for Morsi’s “deliberate slow death”.
“[The Egyptian authorities] put him in solitary confinement… they withheld medication and gave him disgusting food… they did not give him the most basic human rights,” the political party said in a statement published on its website.
The Brotherhood also called for crowds to gather outside Egyptian embassies around the world.

Egyptian politicians close to Morsi

In a joint statement, Amr Darrag, a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood and a minister of planning and international cooperation under Morsi, and Yehia Hamed, a former Egyptian investment minister under Morsi, said an international independent investigation into the death of Morsi should be made public.
“The Egyptian regime knew that the continued denial of access to medical treatment would lead to his premature death. To that effect, the death of President Morsi is tantamount to state sponsored murder,” they said in the statement.
“The first democratically elected President has died through a concerted and active campaign by the Egyptian regime. This is a gross violation of international law. It must not be allowed to stand.”

Independent Detention Review Panel

In a statement released after Morsi’s death, Crispin Blunt, chairman of the UK’s Independent Detention Review Panel, said his death in custody was representative of Egypt’s inability to treat prisoners in accordance with both Egyptian and international law.
“The Egyptian government has a duty to explain his unfortunate death and there must be proper accountability for his treatment in custody. We found culpability for torture rests not only with direct perpetrators but those who are responsible for or acquiesce in it,” he said in a statement.
“The only step now is a reputable independent international investigation.”
Last year, a report by three UK MPs, under the panel, warned that the lack of medical treatment could result in Morsi’s “premature death”.

Amnesty International

Amnesty International urged Egyptian authorities to investigate the death of Morsi.
“We call on Egyptian authorities to conduct an impartial, thorough and transparent investigation into the circumstances of Mursi’s death, including his solitary confinement and isolation from the outside world,” the London-based rights group said in a twitter post.
It also called for an investigation into the medical care Morsi was receiving, and for anyone found responsible for mistreatment to be held accountable.

Amnesty International


Egypt must carry out a thorough and impartial investigation into the death of former President Mohamed Morsi who collapsed in a courtroom today. He was held in solitary confinement for six years and was only allowed three family visits during that time. 

Egypt must investigate death of Mohamed Morsi

The former Egyptian president was held in prolonged solitary confinement

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Funeral prayer in absentia for Mohamed Morsi in Jerusalem
People perform funeral prayer on Monday night in absentia over the death of Mohamed Morsi following the night prayer at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem [Anadolu Agency]

Hamas issued a statement paying tribute to Morsi, who had been a close ally of the Palestinian movement administering the besieged Gaza Strip.
It praised Morsi’s “long struggle spent in the service of Egypt and its people, and primarily the Palestinian cause”.
At the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem, funeral prayers were performed by Palestinians on Monday night.

Pakistan Jamaat-e-Islami

Siraj ul Haq, head of Pakistan's political and religious party Jama'at e Islami, leads the funeral prayers in absentia for the former Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi, in Peshawar
Siraj ul Haq, head of Pakistan’s political and religious party Jamaat-e-Islami, leads the funeral prayers in absentia for the former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, in Peshawar, Pakistan [Fayaz Aziz/Reuters]

Pakistan’s religious-political group, Jamaat-e-Islami, said the “Muslim world has lost a true hero”.
“Morsi stood tall in the face of all pressures aimed at forcing him to withdraw his struggle for fundamental rights of the people of Egypt and his support to Palestine,” the group’s chief Senator Siraj-ul- Haq said in a statement on Twitter.
He announced that the party on Tuesday would hold funeral prayers in absentia for Morsi across Pakistan.

Malaysia expresses condolences

Malaysia’s foreign ministry said it was “shocked and saddened by the sudden death” of Morsi.
“During his tenure as president, Mr Morsi showed courage and moral fortitude in his attempt to lead Egypt away from decades of authoritarian rule and establish true democracy there,” Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah said in a statement.
“I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the bereaved family of Mr Morsi and the people of Egypt.”

 ‘s ex-President Mohamed Morsi buried in Cairo: Son

Egypt’s first freely elected president buried in Cairo at dawn, his son says, with some Morsi family members present.

Egypt‘s former President Mohamed Morsi was buried on Tuesday in eastern Cairo, his son said. Morsi had collapsed in court on Monday and died shortly after.

He was buried at dawn alongside other senior figures of the Muslim Brotherhood, his son, Ahmed Morsi, said on his Facebook page.

The burial was attended by members of the family in Cairo’s Madinat Nasr after authorities refused to grant permission for a burial in Morsi’s home province of Sharqiya in the Nile Delta, Ahmed Morsi said.

“We washed his noble body at Tora prison hospital, performed prayers for him in the prison mosque … the burial was at the cemetery for Muslim Brotherhood spiritual guides,” Ahmed wrote.
Morsi’s lawyer, Abdel Moneim Abdel Maksoud, confirmed the burial took place in Al-Wafaa wa al-Amal cemetery early on Tuesday.

Al-Wafaa Wa al-Amal cemetery after former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi
Al-Wafaa Wa al-Amal cemetery in Cairo where Morsi was buried [Khaled Elfiqi/EPA]

Morsi, who was a leading figure in the Brotherhood, became Egypt’s first democratically elected president in 2012, one year after the Arab Spring uprising saw the end of President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule.
He was deposed in July 2013 following mass protests and a military coup led by Egypt’s current President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, after which he was immediately arrested. He had been in detention ever since.

‘Hasty burial’

The Brotherhood, which has since been outlawed, said Morsi’s death was a “full-fledged murder” and called on Egyptians to gather for a mass funeral.

Mohamed Morsi
Security officials stood guard outside the cemetery where Morsi was buried [Khaled Elfiqi/EPA]
vehicle guard the cemetery were former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi
[Khaled Elfiqi/EPA]

In a statement on its website, the Brotherhood also called for crowds to gather outside Egyptian embassies around the world.
Meanwhile, observers on social media decried the apparent haste with which Morsi’s burial was carried out.
“The sudden, abrupt and restricted manner in which the Egyptian regime has enforced President #Morsi’s burial, raises even more questions regarding the circumstances of his death, and intensifies calls for an independent medical enquiry,” Anas Altikriti, founder of The Cordoba Foundation, said on Twitter.
Mahmoud Refaat, a foreign policy advisor at the European Institute for International Law and International Relations said the burial went against Egyptian tradition.
“In Egyptian tradition, which is considered quite sacred, we bury our dead during daylight hours, either after the duhr (noon) or afternoon (asr) prayers,” Refaat said on Twitter.
“It is also done where the dead was born. Forcing Morsi’s family to bury him in the middle of the night with only two of his sons present, and without his wife, only confirms that Egypt (authorities) has no honour and is being ruled by the Emirates,” he added, referring to the political ties between the government of el-Sisi and the United Arab Emirates.
Al Jazeera has not been able to verify who was present at the burial.
The news of Morsi’s death quickly spread through Egypt’s prison population, sources within two prisons told Al Jazeera.
A source at a facility in the Nile Delta, who asked not to be identified, described emotional scenes as prisoners learned about the ex-president’s demise.
Speeches were given by senior prisoners, the source said, adding that some inmates were “crying as if they cried for a dear family member”.
“We cried for the symbol that was lost, and we cried of the deterioration of the prison conditions,” the prisoner said.
Grief quickly turned into anger among some of the younger inmates, the source said, adding that senior prisoners stepped in to calm the situation.

‘Mistreatment of detainees’

There have been reports over the years that Morsi had been mistreated and tortured in jail, with activists saying on Monday his death should be seen in the context of the Egyptian authorities’ systematic isolation and mistreatment of political detainees.


Mohamed Morsi’s death: World reaction

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.

Egypt's former president Mohamed Morsi sentenced to 20 years in prison
In 2015 an Egyptian court sentenced Morsi to 20 years in prison over the killing of protesters during a 2012 demonstration outside the presidential palace in Cairo [Ahmed Ramadan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images]

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.
Rami Khouri, from the American University of Beirut, said military governments in the Middle East and North Africa are now worse than ever in the treatment of their civilian populations.
“The extent of the brutality of which the Egyptian and other Arab governments are doing – jailing tens of thousands of people, arresting people simply because of an opinion they expressed on social media, preventing any kind of free media … as well as torture and fake trials – this is much worse than it’s ever been in the Arab world,” Khouri told Al Jazeera.
“This is the double tragedy. Not only were Morsi and the Muslim Brothers and their democratic allies crushed after 2012, but the pressure against them has become even more brutal … These things need to be exposed to daylight and be analysed honestly and accurately.”
According to Egyptian authorities, a medical report showed no apparent recent injuries on Morsi’s body.

Health issues

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.


Obituary: Egypt’s first freely elected President Mohamed Morsi

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 the 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 said in a televised speech in Istanbul.

Egypt's Morsi: The Final Hours


Egypt’s Morsi: The Final Hours


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