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Egypt’s First Democratically Elected President, Mohamed Morsi Dies After Court Appearance

Egypt’s former President Mohamed Morsi has died after appearing in court in Cairo, according to state media.

The 67-year-old died after fainting during the court session in the Egyptian capital on Monday, state TV reported.

“He was speaking before the judge for 20 minutes then became very animated and fainted. He was quickly rushed to the hospital where he later died,” a judicial source said.

Egypt’s public prosecutor said Morsi was pronounced dead at 4:50pm local time (02:50 GMT) at the hospital, and that a medical report showed no apparent recent injuries on his body.

The former president had a history of health issues, including diabetes and liver and kidney disease. He had suffered from medical neglect during his imprisonment, compounded by the poor conditions in jail.

Human Rights Watch called the news of his death “terrible” but “entirely predictable”, citing the government’s “failure to allow him adequate medical care”.

Morsi 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 then deposed in July 2013 following mass protest and a military coup led by Egypt’s current President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, and was immediately arrested.

Morsi served just one year of a four-year term, while the organisation to which he belonged, the Muslim Brotherhood, has since been outlawed.

Morsi, who was facing at least six trials, had been behind bars for nearly six years and 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 Quatar.

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.

The first was in November 2013, and the second, which only his wife and daughter were allowed to see him, was in June 2017.

The final visit where his entire family was permitted to see him in the presence of security forces was in September 2018.

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