Muslim Brotherhood says Morsi death was 'full-fledged murder', calls for mass funeral in Egypt

Africa

CAIRO - The Muslim Brotherhood said on Monday that the death of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on Monday was a “full-fledged murder” and called on Egyptians to gather for a mass funeral.

In a statement on its website, the Brotherhood also called for crowds to gather outside Egyptian embassies around the world. Morsi was held in a special wing in Tora nicknamed Scorpion Prison.

Morsi, the first democratically elected head of state in Egypt’s modern history, died aged 67 after collapsing in a Cairo court while on trial on espionage charges, authorities said.

Throughout his trials, Morsi insisted he remained Egypt’s legitimate president. In early court sessions he gave angry speeches until judges ordered him kept in a glass cage during sessions where they could turn off his audio.

In audio leaked from a 2017 session of one of his trials, Morsi complained that he was “completely isolated” from the court, unable to see or hear his defense team, his eyes pained by lighting inside the cage.

Morsi, an engineer who studied at the University of Southern California, was an unlikely figure to be thrust into Egypt’s central stage. He was never considered a major thinker in the Brotherhood and instead rose through its ranks as an efficient, if lackluster, loyalist.

The group only put him forward as its presidential candidate in 2012 after a more prominent and powerful figure, Khairat al-Shater, was declared ineligible to run.

Since his ouster, Morsi and other Brotherhood leaders have been put on multiple and lengthy trials. Morsi was sentenced to 20 years in prison on charges of ordering Brotherhood members to break up a protest against him, resulting in deaths.

Multiple cases are still pending. Monday’s session was part of a retrial, held inside Cairo’s Tora Prison, on charges of espionage with the Palestinian Hamas militant group.