Egypt has condemned as “irresponsible” an assertion by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that former Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, who was ousted in a coup in 2013 and who recently died in custody, was killed.
In a statement on Thursday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry condemned Erdogan’s remark that Egyptian government officials failed to take action to save Morsi’s life after his collapse during a court hearing on Monday.
Erdogan told an election rally on Wednesday that Morsi “did not die, he was murdered.”
“Morsi was struggling on the floor in the courtroom for 20 minutes. Authorities unfortunately did not intervene to save him,” Erdogan said in a televised speech in Istanbul. “Morsi was killed. He did not die of natural causes.”
Erdogan said he would push to ensure the Egyptian government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is held into account by international courts. Sisi was the chief of army in 2013, and he spearheaded the coup against Morsi, who was Egypt’s first democratically-elected president.
Erdogan also called on the Organization of Islamic Conference (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, as well.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has also called for an “independent and thorough” investigation into Morsi’s sudden death.
Morsi, a senior figure in Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood organization, was elected as Egypt’s president after the 2011 revolution that ousted former dictator Hosni Mubarak.
Since his ouster by the military, Morsi had been serving a 20-year prison term on charges of ordering the arrest and torture of protesters, a 25-year jail term on charges of passing intelligence to Qatar, and a three-year term for insulting the judiciary.
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