Media group says Egypt 'suppressed' news of Morsi's death

Media group says Egypt 'suppressed' news of Morsi's death
Media advocacy group Reporters Without Borders has accused Egypt of suppressing media coverage of the death of the country's first democratically-elected president.
2 min read
22 June, 2019
Mohamad Morsi collapsed while standing trial in an Egyptian court [AFP]

A media advocacy group says Egypt has suppressed media coverage of the death of former president Mohamed Morsi in a Cairo courtroom this week.

Reporters Without Borders, or RSF, said on Friday that Morsi's death was barely mentioned in the country's media.

Morsi was Egypt's first democratically elected president and hailed from the now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood

Most Egyptian daily newspapers only carried brief reports of Morsi's death, buried in inside pages of Tuesday editions. The exception was Al-Masry Al-Youm, which had a front-page report.

RSF said most Egyptian media used "the same 42-word government statement" on Morsi's collapse and death on Monday during his trial on espionage charges.

RSF urged Egypt to "allow freedom to the media ... rather than seek to lock the debate and minimise the spread."

Morsi, 67, was elected president in 2012 in the country's first free elections following the ouster of longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

A military coup toppled Morsi in 2013 after massive protests. The military, led by then-defence minister Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, crushed the Brotherhood in a major crackdown and arrested Morsi and many of the group's leaders.

Rights groups accuse the Egyptian authorities of keeping Morsi in inhumane conditions in prison and refusing him treatment for diabetes.

The former president was held in solitary confinement for most of his six years in prison, which amounts to torture under international standards.