British MPs ask Egypt for access to jailed ex-president over health concerns
Mohamed Morsi British MPs ask Egypt for access to jailed ex-president over health concerns
Politicians petition Egypt to let them see Mohamed Morsi, amid concerns his health has deteriorated
A cross-party group of senior British MPs has petitioned the Egyptian government to allow access to the jailed former president Mohamed Morsi, amid reports that his health has seriously deterior ated.
Morsi is being held in isolation in Tora prison and his family have been allowed to visit him only twice since he was imprisoned after a military coup in 2013.
Morsi won the presidency in elections brought about by a popular uprising against the 30-year rule of Hosni Mubarak, and had been in office for only a year when he was arrested. He was convicted of a series of offences including endangering national security by leaking documents to Qatar and inciting violence by the Muslim Brotherhood.
There have been reports he has been denied access to adequate medical treatment while in jail. The application to visit has been sent to the Egyptian ambassador in the UK and follows a request to British MPs from members of Morsiâs family.
The MPs and international lawyers seeking access include the former chair of the foreign affairs select committee Sir Crispin Blunt. Other UK figures seeking to form a detention review panel include Lord Faulks, a former j ustice minister, and Paul Williams, a Labour member of the health select committee and a former GP. Tim Moloney QC would act as the legal adviser to the group.
Blunt said: âThere are credible concerns that the conditions under which Dr Morsi is being held might fall significantly short of both international and Egyptâs own standards. We make this request to the Egyptian authorities seeking to see and assess for ourselves the conditions in which Dr Morsi is being detained.
âNo person should be confined in inhumane conditions, and the implications of former national leaders who once commanded a popular mandate not being treated fairly could have an impact well beyond the proper concerns for any individual.âEgypt detains state TV host in latest crackdown on media Read more
Abdullah Morsi, the former presidentâs 24-year old son, said: âThis month, as Egyptians will be asked to vote for their next president, my father â" Egyptâs first d emocratically elected president â" remains imprisoned in appalling conditions, in breach of international laws.
âWe believe he has not received any adequate treatment for his diabetes or blood pressure. Because he has not received any proper treatment for his diabetes, he has now lost most of his left eyeâs sight and would need urgent surgery. But his request for urgent medical treatment during a trial session was refused. Regardless of any personâs opinion of my father or his beliefs, this is unacceptable for anyone.â
Morsiâs lawyers and family say he told them in June last year that he had experienced two diabetic comas and was not receiving proper treatment in prison. He asked to be moved to a private hospital at his own expense.
The Egyptian authorities insist he is receiving proper treatment. The Egyptian government would need to give MPs visas to travel to Egypt and grant permission to visit him in jail.
The Egyptian embassy has been cont acted for comment.Topics
- Mohamed Morsi
- Middle East and North Africa
- Foreign policy
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