‘Even if my people victimize me, they’ll still be treated with dignity’ were Morsi’s last words
Cairo: Immediate medical help was denied to former President of Egypt Mohammad Morsi, who died on Monday, after he collapsed in court house.
A report by Washington Post quoting Morsi supporters, including three of his attorneys who were inside courtroom, said that ‘at least 20 minutes, and perhaps as many as 40 minutes, elapsed between his collapse and his removal on a stretcher from the courthouse.’
Morsi fainted inside a glass cage in a Cairo courtroom where he was on trial.
They said that security agents did not allow his co-defendants, who included a few doctors, to immediately help the 67-year-old Morsi.
“Dr. Morsi was kept like that for 20 to 30 minutes without help. Somebody should have rushed to check on him. This gives more room for further doubts.” Amr Darrag, a former minister in Morsi’s government was quoted by the WP report. Abdel-Moneim Abdel-Maqsoud, one of Morsi’s defense attorneys recalled that when Morsi stood up to address the court through a microphone inside his soundproof glass cage, “he sounded very exhausted, but as he spoke, he became more normal.”
After five minutes of discussion about his plight, Morsi ended by quoting a line from a well-known Arabic poem that roughly translates to: “Even if my country victimizes me, it will still be dear to my heart. Even if my people victimize me, they will still be treated with dignity.” Then he sat down, Abdel-Maqsoud recalled.
More than 50 other defendants were in a larger and separate glass cage next to Morsi’s.
A few minutes later, chaos broke out inside the larger cage, also soundproof. Defendants were banging on the walls frantically.
“They were signaling with their hands that Morsi had fainted and wanting the security people to let a doctor among them into his cage,” said Abdel-Maqsoud. “But the security refused.”
Bahaa Saad, the brother of one of Morsi’s co-defendants, was also in the courtroom and later wrote in a Facebook post that the defendants “felt helpless and unable to reach [Morsi] and check up on him. Many between them were doctors who wanted to run to his rescue. But all they could do was bang hard on the walls.”
Morsi, who was elected president in 2012 and toppled a year later, suffered from diabetes and liver and kidney ailments. In solitary confinement for six years, he had experienced diabetic comas because he was denied the proper insulin dosage and a special diet, according to Human Rights Watch. Monitoring of his blood pressure and sugar levels was only occasionally done, and he was forced to buy his own insulin.
After ordering relatives of the defendants to leave the courtroom, the security guards brought in a doctor. By then, Morsi was motionless, said Abdel-Maqsoud, and some inside the cage were signaling that they thought he might be dead. When they took Morsi away on the stretcher, he looked like “someone who was sleeping,” Abdel-Maqsoud said.