While the news of the death of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi has attracted widespread Arab – and to a lesser extent – international media coverage, it has not received much attention from newspapers in Egypt.
The 67-year-old, who collapsed during a court appearance on Monday and was later certified dead in a Cairo hospital, was the nation’s first democratically elected president.
He came to office in June 2012, a year after the Arab Spring uprising saw the end of President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule.
But Morsi only served one year of his four-year mandate before he faced massive street protests and was removed in a military coup, led by Egypt’s current President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in July 2013.
On Tuesday, there was almost no front page coverage of Morsi’s death in Egypt’s major newspapers. Instead, the news was described briefly on the inside pages which are usually devoted to monitoring criminal cases.
The reports made no remark of Morsi’s status as either a former or an overthrown president.
According to the personally owned online newspaper Mada Masr, the only major daily paper to feature news of Morsi’s death on its front page was Al-Masry Al-Youm, while most other papers declared the same 42-word news article.
The three main state-owned newspapers described the ex-president as either “the accused” or “the deceased”, with some personally owned papers not even mentioning the news.
This was also shown on Egyptian satellite television channels, which relayed the news in vague and abrupt terms, and referred to the Muslim Brotherhood organization, to which Morsi belonged, as a “terrorist” group.
The largest state-owned newspaper Al Ahram published the news of Morsi’s death on the edges of its fourth page under the heading: “The death of Mohamed Morsi during his trial in the espionage case”.
The Al Akhbar paper’s coverage was similar and added one paragraph entitled: “The death of Mohamed Morsi during his trial.”
The Al Gomhuria paper published a short paragraph at the bottom of its third page under a similar heading.
There was no official announcement from the Egyptian presidency or el-Sisi regarding Morsi’s death.
His burial, attended by some of his family members, was a hurried affair that took place at dawn, with security officials standing guard outside the Al-Wafaa Wa al-Amal cemetery. No journalists or other mourners were allowed to be present.