The Human Rights Watch organization has called for an independent investigation into the death of former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, who collapsed during a court appearance in Cairo on Monday.
Morsi had just finished statements to the court when he lost consciousness, according to Egyptian media. He was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Yet the 67-year-old leader had a history of medical problems that went neglected because of mistreatment by the Egyptian government, HRW said.
“The Egyptian government failed for six years to provide Morsi his basic rights as a detainee, including sufficient medical care and family visits, despite his apparently deteriorating physical condition and his repeated requests to the judiciary for access to medical treatment,” the NGO said.
The treatment violates international standards and is evidence for why the United Nations Human Rights Council, which meets again next week, should open an investigation into Egypt’s human rights record.
“At the very least, the Egyptian government committed grave abuses against Morsi by denying him prisoners’ rights that met minimum standards,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East and North Africa director for HRW.
Morsi took office in June 2012 and was removed one year later by an Egyptian military led by the current President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. He had remained in prison since, and continued to face new charges at the time of his death.
Image: UN file photo/Marco Castro