The United Nations on Tuesday called for an independent investigation into the death of Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's former president, who collapsed and died — possibly from a heart attack or stroke — on Monday inside a courtroom in Cairo.
Morsi was Egypt's first democratically elected president in 2012, but was ousted after just a year in power. Morsi, who was once a top member of the Muslim Brotherhood, was then imprisoned and reportedly held in solitary confinement after the military-backed government led by current Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi tried him and other members of the party on various charges. He reportedly suffered from diabetes and liver disease while in prison. Crispin Blunt, the former chair of the foreign affairs select committee in the United Kingdom who led an independent review of Morsi's prison conditions last year, said he was concerned the former president was not receiving treatment for those ailments.
The U.N. apparently shares Blunt's concern, and the organization wants an impartial probe to focus on whether Morsi's lack of access to medical care and his prolonged stay in solitary confinement contributed to his death. Morsi's supporters and various human rights groups have also called for an investigation. Those have been dismissed by Cairo as politically motivated, but the U.N.'s addition to the fold could force the government's hand, The Washington Post reports.
Meanwhile, Morsi was buried in a remote area of Cairo on Tuesday; his son said Egyptian authorities refused to allow a burial at the family grounds in Sharqiyah province. Tim O'Donnell