The Independent has reported today that prison guards in the courtroom where Morsi collapsed on Monday left the former president of Egypt for over 20 minutes before administering first aid, despite the fact that people around him were calling for help.
Morsi collapsed at a court session on 17 June after suffering six years in prison in solitary confinement where he was consistently denied access to medical care for his diabetes, hypertension and liver and kidney disease.
Morsi was Egypt’s first democratically elected president after the January 25 Revolution toppled Hosni Mubarak, but he was deposed by the military general turned President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi one year later.
In 2018 a panel of UK MP’s led by Crispin Blunt reported that the conditions he was being held in could amount to torture and that the refusal to administer medical care could result in his premature death.
There are approximately 60,000 political prisoners in Egypt. Many have died from lack of access to appropriate medical care.
Despite claims from the Attorney General that Morsi was “transported immediately to hospital,” witnesses told the Independent that “no one bothered to help.”
“He was left slumped for while till the guards took him out. An ambulance arrived after 30 minutes. Other detainees were first to notice his collapse, they started shouting. Some of them, who are doctors, asked the guards to let them treat him or give him first aid,” said Abdullah Al-Haddad who was at the court to support his father and brother who were also on trial that day.
“Neglecting him at the beginning was deliberate. The first thing the prison guards did after detainees started shouting was to get family members out of the courtroom.”
An anonymous activist corroborated the story: “The families who were there told me the police didn’t do anything for more than 20 minutes despite the yelling. They left him there.”
“The police then started taking the families out of the court and the ambulance came.”