Mohamed Morsi was the victim of a political assassination yesterday just as surely as someone had put a gun to his head.
The man who will go down in history as Egypt’s first democratically elected president collapsed in a Cairo courtroom yesterday and died just moments after he had tried to address the hearing from a cage where he was facing charges of espionage.
His group, The Muslim Brotherhood, described his death as “murder” but closer to the truth would be the Chinese word “Lingchi” which describes a slow, lingering death also known as death by a thousand cuts. It was a form of torture and execution used in China from roughly 900 CE until 1905.
While Abdul Fatah al-Sisi’s brutal regime didn’t use knives to cut Morsi, the ruthless wing of the Egyptian State presided over a long, slow, lingering death which took six years from start to finish. Morsi was deprived of good food and medicine and had previously passed out in court several times during a number of hearings. The spineless judges who presided over his case ignored his deteriorating medical condition of high blood pressure, diabetes, dramatic weight loss and frail health.
Kept in solitary confinement with no access to television, email or any direct communication with friends and family, the Egyptian State, without doubt, is guilty of his demise. Egypt’s public prosecutor said an initial report showed no signs of recent injuries on the body and, in trademark regime style, there will no doubt now be a massive cover-up concluding in a fake report citing natural causes.
However, we all know there was nothing natural about the manner of Morsi’s incarceration, the endless kangaroo courts, spineless judiciary and vindictive pursuit of a spiteful regime who all conspired to silence the deposed president.
He collapsed just a few moments after attempting to address the hearing where he was facing ludicrous charges of espionage linked to Hamas.
Not only was Morsi caged in court for his appearances but his enemies so feared the power of his speech that he was kept in a soundproof glass case so his message could not get out to the Egyptian people who loved, admired and elected the Muslim Brotherhood leader as their president after the Arab Spring.
Fearing a contagion of democracy across the region, neighbouring despotic states plotted and conspired, spurred on by Israel, to undermine Morsi’s leadership which ended dramatically in a military coup.
As much as al-Sisi may try to rewrite the history, the injustice of it all will not go away. Sadly western leaders have also played their part in Morsi’s premeditated death as well.
This month Donald Trump’s administration, as favour no doubt to Israel as well as al-Sisi, is working on legislation to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organisation. It remains to be seen if this attempt will continue.
The UAE tried and failed something similar when David Cameron was UK Prime Minister but the cunning plan to discredit the Muslim brotherhood spectacularly back-fired when the British Government’s investigation gave the MB a clean bill of health.
On hearing the news of his sudden death, Crispin Blunt MP called for a “reputable independent international investigation”, and said Egypt’s government had a “duty to explain his unfortunate death”. Last year Blunt led a British parliamentary group to go and see how Morsi was being treated.
They found he was being kept in solitary confinement for 23 hours a day, which they concluded could be classified as torture. Some expressed fear his treatment could lead to his premature death, but despite warnings, the Egyptian State ignored the pleas from the UK delegation as well as other international politicians and human rights groups.
The political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, called Freedom and Justice, is urging supporters to demonstrate outside Egyptian embassies around the world. “They placed him in solidarity confinement throughout his detention which exceeded five years, prevented medicine and provided poor food… They prevented doctors and lawyers and even communicating with his family. They deprived him of the simplest human rights.”
During his first year in office, Morsi was accused of mounting an Islamist coup and mishandling the economy. His support of Palestinians including Hamas raised eyebrows. By July 3 2014, the army suspended the constitution, announced an interim government ahead of new elections and detained Morsi. This was a coup in anyone’s language led by a general who went on to become president in 2014.
It took six years for the Egyptian regime to murder Morsi but as he said in his speeches before the regime silenced him, he was prepared to pay the blood price. Now his ideas will take on a new resonance and while al-Sisi might want to kill off Morsi’s beliefs he will forever live on in history as the man who became Egypt’s first democratically elected President.
To its eternal shame, the Egyptian regime will forever be tainted as the political assassins who tried and failed to kill off a man and his ideas.
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