(Beirut) – Egyptian authorities have unlawfully prevented former President Mohamed Morsy from contacting or receiving visits from his family and lawyers in the years since the military forcibly removed him from power in July 2013, Human Rights Watch said today. On June 4, 2017, Egyptian authorities allowed Morsy to receive visits from his family and lawyer for only the second time in nearly four years.
These conditions undermine Morsy’s right to mount a legal challenge to his detention and a defense against the many prosecutions filed against him and may have contributed to a decline in his health. During the first week of June, Morsy fainted twice and experienced a diabetic coma, his family told Human Rights Watch.
“Egyptian authorities appear to have seriously violated former President Morsy’s due process rights and may be interfering in his proper medical treatment,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Morsy’s treatment is a window into the appalling conditions suffered by thousands of political detainees in Egypt.”
During a court hearing on June 12, Morsy told the presiding judge that he would like to meet with his defense team to brief them on what he has been “exposed to” in prison and how it has affected his life, according to an account of the hearing published in the newspaper al-Shorouk. Morsy characterized his treatment as “crimes” that have had a “direct effect” on his life, including fainting on June 5 and 6, the newspaper reported. The court also read an official medical report from prison doctors, which stated that Morsy’s health is good…