News   /   Egypt

Top Muslim Brotherhood leader dies in Egyptian prison

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
In this file photo taken on April 21, 2015, top Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood leaders Essam el-Erian (C) and Mohamed Beltagi (R) gesture with fellow accused from the defendants cage during their trial alongside 14 others. (Via AFP)

A senior leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has died at the notorious Tora Prison in Cairo where he was serving multiple sentences, his lawyer says.

Abdelmoneim Abdelmaqsood, a lawyer representing the Muslim Brotherhood, said in a statement to local media on Thursday that he received a call on Wednesday from the prison authority informing him of Essam el-Erian’s death.

"The authorities notified me of his death, and I informed his family to arrange for receiving his body (for burial)," the lawyer said. "We were informed of his death by prison authorities ... they told us the death was natural," he added.

Egyptian media reports said Erian died of a heart attack following an argument with a fellow inmate.

Prison sources said el-Erian had been moved to a prison hospital after suffering a heart attack and died during treatment.

Erian was the vice president of the Brotherhood's political wing. He was arrested after then-defense minister Abdel Fattah el-Sisi overthrew the Egypt's first democratically-elected president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

The cases brought against Erian carried sentences amounting to "a total of 150 years" in prison. Authorities placed Erian on their terror blacklist, a designation that has allowed them to freeze his assets.

El-Erian's family have not been able to see him for about six months after authorities suspended visits to prisons, claiming a precautionary measure to combat the coronavirus.

He had complained in previous court sessions of being prevented from treatment and being subjected to medical negligence.

The Brotherhood leader had said in previous statements he had contracted Hepatitis C inside the prison, and that the authorities had objected to his treatment.

Morsi himself died in custody in June 2019, after falling ill during a court hearing.

Following the ouster of Morsi, the Brotherhood was outlawed by Sisi as a “terrorist organization.”

The Brotherhood, which fully supported Morsi, protested against the coup, but the pro-Morsi protests were brutally crushed in what became known as the Rabaa massacre in August 2013, in which more than 800 civilians were killed.

Since then, hundreds of the movement's leaders and members have either received death or prison sentences.

International rights groups have repeatedly censured Egyptian authorities for failing to prosecute those members of the security forces who were involved in an August 2013 massacre of hundreds of protesters.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku