NPWJ calls for an impartial, thorough and transparent investigation into the circumstances and causes of Morsi's death

Brussels-Rome, 17 June 2019

The news of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s sudden death in court today is deeply shocking and raises serious questions about his treatment in custody and the Egyptian authorities’ duty to ensure the provision of his basic rights as a detainee.
 
Concerns have been raised regarding the dire conditions of Mr. Morsi’s detention over nearly six years, likely to have placed a considerable strain on his mental and physical wellbeing. It also appears that he has been held in prolonged solitary confinement, without being afforded adequate medical care, as well as sufficient access to his lawyers and family.
 
These restrictions and ill-treatment violate the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (to which Egypt is a State Party) and contravene the UN Standard Minimum Rules on the Treatment of Prisoners. Under these international rules, States have a duty of care to take any necessary measures to protect the lives and bodily integrity of individuals deprived of their liberty.
 
It is therefore crucial to conduct an impartial, thorough and transparent investigation into the circumstances and causes of Morsi's death, including to examine whether the conditions of his detention had an impact on his death. The investigation should be carried out by a judicial or other competent authority that is independent of the prison administration and ensure that those responsible for abuses and violation of his rights are held accountable.