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269 die in Egypt jails after Morsi ouster: Rights body

A picture taken on August 19, 2013 shows an Egyptian woman mourning over a coffin, which reportedly contains the body of one of the 37 prisoners who suffocated on teargas as they were held in a van headed for a prison at the Zeinhom Morgue in Cairo. (© AFP)

A Cairo-based rights group has revealed that as many as 269 people have lost their lives in Egyptian custody since the 2013 ouster of Mohamed Morsi, the country’s first democratically-elected president.

The Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF) disclosed the data in a report issued on Friday to mark the United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

The group said 130 of the fatalities, which comprised 68 political detainees and 62 criminal defendants, had occurred under Egypt’s military-appointed interim President Adly Mansour, who was trusted with the country’s leadership after Morsi’s overthrow from July 3, 2013, to early June 2014.

The report also noted that among the deaths, 143 had occurred due to systematic medical negligence and 32 others as a result of torture practices.

The ECRF also documented 139 deaths in Egyptian prisons and detention facilities since President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi ascended to power last year.

Morsi, affiliated with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood movement, was elected as the country’s president in 2012 but was ousted only a year later in a military coup led by the then army chief, Sisi.

Egypt’s ousted President Mohamed Morsi stands behind the bars during his trial in Cairo on June 16, 2015. (© AFP)


Sisi, who had also served as military chief under former dictator Hosni Mubarak, later campaigned for and won the country’s presidency in controversial elections in June 2014.

The Sisi administration has been cracking down on any opposition since Morsi was ousted, banning the Muslim Brotherhood movement.

Thousands of the supporters of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood movement have also been jailed, with many of them, including Morsi, receiving death penalties in mass trials.

Earlier this month, Human Rights Watch issued a report, dubbed “Egypt: Year of Abuses Under Sisi,” criticizing “flagrant abuse of human rights” under the rule of the army chief-turned-president.


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