A human rights group has called for an investigation after Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi, who was ousted by the military in 2013, died in court while on trial.
The 67-year-old Islamist had just addressed the court on Monday, warning that he had “many secrets” he could reveal, a judicial official told the Associated Press.
A few minutes later, he collapsed and died in a glass defendants’ cage. He was known to suffer from diabetes and high blood pressure.
His death is likely to pile pressure on the Egyptian government over its human rights record, especially conditions in prisons where thousands of Islamists and secular activists are held.
Morsi was buried in Cairo in the presence of some family members, one of his lawyers said early Tuesday.
In his final comments, he continued to insist he was Egypt’s legitimate president.
Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood accused the government of “assassinating” him through years of poor prison conditions. In a statement, the group demanded an international investigation into Morsi’s death and called for protests outside Egyptian embassies across the world.
It was a dramatic end for a figure who was central in the twists and turns taken by Egypt since its “revolution” — from the pro-democracy uprising that in 2011 ousted the country’s longtime authoritarian leader, Hosni Mubarak, through controversial Islamist rule and now back to a tight grip under the domination of military men.