Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Islamist leader Mohammed Morsi, was buried under heavy protection early today, a day after his dramatic collapse and death inside a Cairo courtroom, a member of his defense team said.
Morsi’s family attended funeral prayers in the mosque of Cairo’s Tora prison, followed by the burial at a cemetery in the city’s western area of Nasr City, said Abdul-Moneim Abdel-Maqsoud, a member of Morsi’s security team.
Morsi’s son, Ahmed, said security agencies declined to allow Morsi to be buried at the family’s cemetery in his hometown in Sharqia region, and instead had him buried at a Cairo cemetery devoted to prominent Islamists. Security agents turned reporters away from the cemetery, banning them from taking pictures of the cremation. Reporters were also banned from traveling to Morsi’s hometown.
Morsi, 67, hailed from Egypt’s largest Islamist group, the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood and was elected president in 2012 in the country’s first free elections following the ouster the year before longtime leader Hosni Mubarak.
The military toppled Morsi in 2013 after massive protests and crushed the Brotherhood in a major crackdown, arresting Morsi and many others of the group’s leaders.
During his years in prison, Morsi, who was known to have diabetes, was often held in solitary detention and was largely barred from receiving visitors. His family was only allowed to visit three times. While in detention, Morsi continued to appear in court on a range of charges.
In early court sessions, he gave angry speeches until judges ordered him kept in a glass cage where they could turn off his audio.