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Egypt accuses UN of seeking to 'politicise' Mursi death

  • Published at 04:40 pm June 19th, 2019
TURKEY-EGYPT-POLITICS-MORSI-OBIT
People hold picture of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi during a symbolic funeral cerenomy on June 18, 2019 at Fatih mosque in Istanbul AFP

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Rupert Colville  called for a probe on Tuesday

Egypt accused the United Nations on Wednesday of seeking to "politicise" the death of the country's first democratically elected president Mohamed Mursi by calling for an "independent inquiry."

Foreign ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez said he condemned "in the strongest terms" the call by the spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Rupert Colville, for an independent investigation into Mursi's death during a court hearing on Monday. 

Hafez said it was a "deliberate attempt to politicise a case of natural death."

Colville called Tuesday for a probe into whether the conditions Mursi faced during his nearly six years in custody had contributed to his death.

"Any sudden death in custody must be followed by a prompt, impartial, thorough and transparent investigation carried out by an independent body to clarify the cause of death," he said. 

"Concerns have been raised regarding the conditions of Mr Mursi's detention, including access to adequate medical care, as well as sufficient access to his lawyers and family," Colville added.  

He said the investigation must "encompass all aspects of the authorities' treatment of Mr Mursi to examine whether the conditions of his detention had an impact on his death."

Mursi was toppled by then army chief, now President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in 2013 after a single divisive year in power. He was later charged with an array of offences including espionage.

Since his ouster, authorities have waged an ongoing crackdown on dissent of all kinds that has seen thousands of Brotherhood supporters jailed and hundreds facing death sentences.

A group of British parliamentarians in March 2018 warned Mursi's detention conditions, particularly inadequate treatment for his diabetes and liver disease, could trigger "premature death."