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Exclusive: Details of Morsi family visit in prison last month

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]

Abdullah, the son of Egyptian President Mohamad Morsi, has disclosed that President Morsi's family met with him on 19 September inside his prison cell within the detention centre annexed to Turrah Farm Prison, in Turrah Central Prisons. He also pointed out that a security team composed of three officers attended the visit with the family.

In an exclusive statement to Arabi 21, Abdullah said that the visit did not last more than 25 minutes, noting that his mother Najlaa, the wife of President Morsi, his daughter Shaymaa and his two other sons Ahmad and Omar were also at the visit. None of his lawyers were present. This time was unlike the previous one when the security agencies prevented his male children from visiting and allowed only his wife, his daughter and his lawyer Abd Al-Mun'im Abd Al-Maqsud, to attend.

He also said that "the President affirmed the firmness of his stance and his absolute rejection of the 3 July military coup. He said he would never retreat from his national stances no matter how much pressure he is subjected to or how many bargains are offered to him. He said he would remain steadfast in his prison without retreat or capitulation".

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Abdullah went on to say: "The President said to us literally that he would sacrifice his life for the January revolution out of respect for the will of the Egyptian people and for the sake of God, even if this were to cost him the life God gave to him."

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

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

Asked if there were pressures or negotiations with him to force him to retreat from his positions and accept an initiative to end the crisis, Abdullah added: "The President did not speak to us frankly as to whether he was being subjected to pressures to get him to pull back or retreat from the scene. In fact, he needn't say this explicitly, because everyone knows the circumstances in which he is being detained. He lives in extremely harsh conditions. So, the answer to the question lies in what the President is being subjected to before the entire world."

He also explained that "President Morsi tried as much as he could, and within the few minutes made available during the visit, to listen to his family members and be reassured about their wellbeing and hear from them above all about the conditions and the rights of the Egyptian people and about the living conditions of the citizens".

Abdullah affirmed that his father would remain "steadfast until he meets God in order to save the revolution and its gains, for which people made sacrifices, and at the core of this is the people's will to elect the first democratically elected civilian president".

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He continued: "President Morsi will not move an inch away from the line of the right to adhere to legitimacy, not for sake of an individual or a party or a group, but out of respect for the people and their choices, and so as not to let down the Egyptians in the first democratic experience ever known by the country in its modern history. And, therefore, he has not recognised, and will never ever recognise, this coup."

He pointed out that "the only real charge against my father is that he did truly express the will of the Egyptian people in an election that the entire world concedes was fair and clean".

Speaking about President Morsi's health conditions, Abdullah added: "Health wise he seemed well. Yet he is still suffering from some chronic illnesses. But his health condition seems medium and one can say that overall he is well. We have been able to verify some of the information that used to reach us before about President Morsi."

He also said that his father's morale is very high and that he has confidence in the justness of his cause and his stance and that above all he has full confidence that God's victory will come soon.

He drew attention to the fact that "President Morsi is being subjected to gross violations of justice in contravention of local and international human rights standards".

He confirmed that his father is "completely denied access to the media and is barred from having any books or papers while continuing to be prohibited completely from seeing anyone apart from the security team put in charge of him".

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He pointed out that "the visit by President Morsi's family to him in his prison does not at all constitute a recognition of the legitimacy of the coup or of its false tribunals. It is the fundamental right of the family to visit him and be informed about his health. What happened with him does not strip him of his human rights, including the right to meet regularly with his family and his defence team".

He stressed that "this recent visit was not announced in order to avoid what happened with his father in the aftermath of the family's second visit to him in his prison. That was the visit made on 4 June 2017, when he passed away inside his prison cell because of diabetes without any medical attention warranted by his health condition".

He added: "The President's family decided not to announce the visit or talk about its details until the President appeared in the court session that was held on Wednesday in the case in which he is accused of communicating with Hamas."

The Cairo criminal court decided yesterday to adjourn the hearing in the case against President Morsi and 23 other leading members of the Muslim Brotherhood in what is known to the media as the case of "communicating with Hamas". The next session will he held on 4 November.

Abdullah pointed out that his family were only able to visit him since his kidnapping on 3 July 2013 three times. The first visit was on 6 November 2013 at Burj Al-Arab prison in the West of Alexandria; the second visit was on 4 June 2017 at the Turrah Farm prison and the third was on 19 September in his prison cell at Turrah Farm prison too.

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According to Morsi's family, the 66-year-old elected president suffers from chronic diabetes and as a result of the unwholesome prison conditions and the deprivation from access to medication he has suffered severe repercussions including extreme weakness in the left eye, ulcers in the mouth and the jaws and hypoglycaemia coma. And as a result of being forced to sleep on the floor, he has suffered acute rheumatic inflammations in the backbone and in the neck vertebrae.

Morsi did request medical treatment as far back as 8 August 2015 and despite a repeated court order that he should be allowed to see a diabetes specialist, this has not happened until today. On 29 November 2017, his family reported this medical negligence to the court, but to no avail.

It is worth mentioning that on 5 December 2017, the defence team representing President Mohamad Morsi submitted a petition to the Administrative Court requesting regular visits for his family.

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