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United States joins call for independent investigation into the controversial death of Egypt's overthrown President Morsi



The United Nations joined the chorus on Tuesday demanding an independent investigation into the death of Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected president, who was buried on a closed funeral Tuesday.

"During his nearly six-year detention, Mr. Morsi's concerns about detention conditions, including access to adequate medical care and adequate access to his lawyers and family," said Rupert Colville, spokesman for the High Commissioner United Nations Human Rights. "He also seems to have been held longer in solitary confinement."

Demanding an impartial investigation into whether Morsi's detention conditions "had an impact on his death", the UN could put more pressure on the Egyptian government to make a proper request. The demands for such an investigation so far came from Mursi supporters and human rights groups, which rejected the government as politically motivated.

67-year-old Morsi, who was elected president in 201

2 and ousted from office for one year, was later buried in a military coup at a public cemetery in Kairo's eastern enclave of Nasr City, one day after he collapsed and in a courtroom died in Cairo.

The Egyptian authorities refused to allow his family to bury him in his family's cemetery in Cairo Sharqiya province in the Nile Delta, his son Ahmad Morsi said in a Facebook post.

Egyptian authorities and local media reports suggest that Morsi, who suffered from diabetes and liver disease, died of a possible heart attack or stroke. The prosecutor said that a report on the cause of death is being prepared. It is unclear whether this was completed before the Tuesday funeral, which is usually within 24 hours of death in Islam.

The Muslim Brotherhood, whose top members are currently in exile in Turkey and other parts of the world, described Morsi's death as "murder."

Morsi was held in solitary confinement for six years and denied access to family, friends and lawyers. His family was only allowed to visit him three times.

When Sarah Leah Whitson, director of Human Rights Watch for the Middle East and North Africa, demanded an investigation, she said Morsi's death was "due to years of mistreatment by the government" and that his medical care was "inadequate".

At least, the Egyptian government has severely abused Morsi by denying him the minimum prisoners' rights.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Egyptian state information service called the accusations a "new ethical nadir" and an "attempt to act prematurely" with the most politicized intentions. "The allegations of medical maltreatment are" unfounded ".

Before the funeral, Mursi's family attended funerals in the mosque in Tora Prison, where they washed and wrapped his body and performed other traditional rites, Ahmad Morsi said. The funeral was attended only by family members under strict surveillance.

Egyptian security forces prevented reporters and photographers from attending the funeral and banned journalists from traveling to Morsi's village. State newspapers buried his death in short messages on the inside pages.

When the Egyptian government worked to prevent a public debate on Mursi's heritage and death, the ousted president in Turkey received a kind of state honor, in which prayers were held in his memory on Tuesday, and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Morsi as a "martyr".

Erdogan, a follower of the Arab Spring protest movements and a brotherhood sympathetic Islamist leader, was one of Morsi's most important ally during his year as an Egyptian. Erdogan was also a loud critic of the coup that deposed Morsi and the Sissi government. Hundreds of exiled Brotherhood members live in Turkey, welcomed by Erdogan's government.

"I condemn the Western world and humanity who have brought down Morsi in a coup and tortured him in a jail cell," Erdogan said at a political rally in Istanbul, according to Reuters.

Morsi, a high-ranking leader of the Islamic Muslim Brotherhood Movement, was elected president one year after the overthrow of longtime Egyptian Autocrat Hosni Mubarak of the Arab Spring. This vote is still seen as the country's only highly competitive presidential election, and for many Egyptians, Morsi's victory represented the hope that democracy would gain foothold after decades of military-led rule.

But within a year, Morsi had lost much of his politics to goodwill. Critics accused him of wanting to seize power, islamize government and nation and abuse the economy.

In July 2013, the military overthrew Mursi after massive demonstrations broke out against his government, arresting him and other leading Islamist figures.

A month later, Egyptian troops raided protest camps and killed hundreds of Mursi supporters on Rabaa al-Adawiya Square in Cairo and other areas. Human Rights Watch called it "one of the world's largest killings of protesters in a single day in recent history."

The Muslim Brotherhood was ostracized as a "terrorist group".

During the coup and the massacre, the army was killed by General Abdel Fatah al-Sissi. He was re-elected Egypt's president in 2014 and last year after all of his credible opponents left office for arrest, intimidation or lack of competition.

Sissi's government has jailed tens of thousands of members and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood but to smash the movement. Its authoritarianism has spread since 2017, silencing most forms of disagreement, including shutting down hundreds of sites that are considered critical and independent.

The government continued to target Mursi and other Muslim Brotherhood leaders even while in jail. A death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment, but Morsi was repeatedly subjected to multiple trials for inciting violence and other charges.

When he collapsed on Monday in a glass cage where defendants were being held in the courtroom, he was charged with charges of involvement in espionage with Hamas, the Palestinian militant group.

Kareem Fahim from Istanbul contributed to this report.


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