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Morsi is not an ordinary prisoner, British MP warns Egypt

Egypt's ousted president Mohamed Morsi, wearing an orange uniform while in prison on 18th August 2016 [Anadolu Agency/Facebook]
Egypt's ousted president Mohamed Morsi, wearing an orange uniform while in prison, 8 June 2017 [Anadolu Agency/Facebook]

A British Member of Parliament has pointed out that former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, who was ousted in a military coup in 2013, is "not an ordinary prisoner." Crispin Blunt MP warned the authorities in Egypt that if Morsi dies in prison, the consequences will be greater than if the victim was anyone else, Anadolu Agency has reported.

Blunt, who heads Westminster's Foreign Affairs Committee, said that a request by a group of British parliamentarians to be allowed to visit Morsi in prison has not received any response from the Egyptian Embassy in London.

Morsi's family have repeatedly voiced concerns about his health and the lack of medical treatment available in prison. His son Abdullah said in a statement earlier this month that Morsi's request for urgent medical treatment during a trial session was refused.

Read: UK MPs ask to visit Egypt's Mohamed Morsi in prison

"We believe that he has not received any adequate treatment for his diabetes or blood pressure," explained Abdullah Morsi. "Because he has not received any proper treatment for his diabetes, he has now lost most of the sight in his left eye and needs urgent surgery."

Military coup that ousted Mohamed Morsi in Egypt- Cartoon [Latuff/MiddleEastMonitor]

Military coup that ousted Mohamed Morsi in Egypt- Cartoon [Latuff/MiddleEastMonitor]

The Conservative MP told Anadolu that a firm of solicitors instructed by the family of Mohamed Morsi wants to establish a reputable detention review panel that could examine the conditions in which the ousted President is being incarcerated.

In addition to Blunt, the British parliamentary delegation in Egypt comprises Conservative peer Lord Edward Faulks and Labour MP Paul Williams.

"There are prima facie concerns about how he is being held, the conditions in which he is in and his health," Blunt told Anadolu. "He is not an ordinary prisoner to be held to ordinary prisoner standards and [to] the rules of the Egyptian prison system and decent international standards. He is an ex-head of state; he was elected by the people of Egypt and that means if something happens to him in custody, there are likely to be wider consequences than simply just the fate of one prisoner."

Read: Morsi may die in an Egyptian prison. It's time the British government spoke up

Blunt also noted that there were some voices in the Egyptian parliament who wanted to support Morsi but they were not effective. The British delegation provides an opportunity for the Egyptian government to refute criticism circulating outside Egypt, he added.

In the event that the Egyptian authorities reject the British delegation's request to be granted access to Morsi in jail, the parliamentarians will review all the evidence that is available to them outside of Egypt. "We will then produce a report on the basis of what is known," Blunt explained.

Morsi has been in detention since the military coup that overthrew him in 2013. Since then, the country has witnessed an unprecedented deterioration in human rights and a crackdown on opponents and dissidents. Egyptian and international human rights groups have warned repeatedly about the bad conditions and inadequacy of medical treatment on offer in Egyptian prisons.

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