19, June 2019
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called for the prosecution of Egyptian government officials who “murdered” the country’s first democratically-elected president Mohamed Morsi.
Erdogan told an election rally on Wednesday that Morsi “did not die, he was murdered,” days after the former Egyptian president suffered a fatal heart attack in a Cairo court.
Erdogan said he will push to ensure the Egyptian government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is held into account by international courts for Morsi’s death.
He also called on the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to take action. The Turkish head of state said he would raise the issue at the G-20 summit in Japan which is set to kick off later this month.
Shortly after his death on Monday, Morsi was buried at dawn in the presence of some of his family members in a burial that analysts believe fuels suspicions surrounding his death.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on Tuesday called for an “independent and thorough” investigation into the issue.
The call angered Egypt, with the North African country’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Hafez condemning it “in the strongest terms” on Wednesday.
Hafez described the call as a “deliberate attempt to politicize a case of natural death.”
Rupert Colville, spokesman for the OHCHR, had said “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.”
“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,” Colville added.
Erdogan: Morsi’s death not ‘normal’
Erdogan, a key supporter of Morsi, has dismissed Cairo’s account that he died of natural causes.
During a prayer service in Istanbul on Tuesday, he said that the former Egyptian president’s death was not “normal.”
“I don’t believe that this was a normal death,” Erdogan said.
He also lashed out at Egyptian officials for inviting only a small number of Morsi’s family members to his secret funeral.
“They are so cowardly that they could not even deliver his body to his family,” Erdogan said.
Morsi, a senior figure in Egypt’s now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood organization, was elected as Egypt’s president after the 2011 revolution, which ousted former dictator Hosni Mubarak.
However, Morsi was deposed through a bloody military coup led by his then-army chief and now President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in July 2013.
Morsi, 67, had been serving prison terms on several charges, including passing intelligence to Qatar.
He suffered from medical neglect during his imprisonment as well as poor conditions in prison.