Egypt on Tuesday slammed tweets by the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) on the circumstances of the death of Mohamed Morsi, the country’s first freely-elected president, during a court session a day earlier, as reported by Anadolu Agency.
Morsi was buried in eastern Cairo early Tuesday amid tight security, hours after he collapsed and died during a court appearance on espionage charges.
HRW’s Middle East and North Africa Director Sarah Leah Whitson described Morsi’s death as “entirely predictable” due to his ill-treatment by the Egyptian authorities.
“This is terrible but ENTIRELY predictable, given govt failure to allow him adequate medical care, much less family visits,” she said on Twitter.
She said the Egyptian government deliberately singled out Morsi for especially harsh treatment and isolation.
“…there is a very strong case to be made that this was criminal negligence, deliberate malfeasance in providing #Morsi basic prisoner rights. He was very obviously singled out for mistreatment." #Egypt
— Sarah Leah Whitson (@sarahleah1) June 17, 2019
But the State Information Service (SIS) described Whitson’s tweets as “lies” and a “political exploitation in the name of human rights”.
In a statement, SIS said Whitson’s tweets “contained nothing but false claims that reaffirm HRW’s tradition of circulating lies”.
A leading member of the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood group, Morsi won Egypt’s first free presidential election in 2012.
Following only one year in office, however, he was ousted and imprisoned in a military coup led by Egypt’s then defence minister and current president, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.
At the time of his death, Morsi faced a host of legal charges, which he, along with numerous human rights groups and independent observers, said were politically motivated.
A special report by Reuters shows that more than 100 people died of medical neglect since Sisi took control of Egypt.