Former president of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi, died on Monday after collapsing during his court trial that charged him of espionage and inciting violence.
His death has also raised doubts over the ‘torturous’ condition under which he was kept in prison. Voices of several human right groups and individuals have called for an impartial investigation into his death. Turkish President and Morsi’s friend Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has accused Egypt’s ‘tyrants’ for the death and described him as a martyr.
Mohamed Morsi’s political career was a turbulent one.
From being Egypt’s first democratically-elected president to dying as an inmate, here’s a brief biography of Mohamed Morsi:
Mohamed Morsi was born in a village in the Nile Delta province of Sharqiya in 1951 to a farmer’s family. He completed engineering in metallurgy from the Cairo University. After that, he joined the Egyptian Army to perform his military service.
Later, he moved to the US on a scholarship to complete a PhD in rocket science, from the University of Southern California.
Upon returning to Egypt, he served as head of the engineering department at Zagazig University.
He joined Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, along the lines of which, his stint in politics began. He became a member of the Brotherhood’s Guidance Bureau, the group’s highest decision-making body, in 1995. And later, elected in People’s Assembly of Egypt.
During his parliamentary tenure, Morsi was considered one of the most vocal members of the Brotherhood’s bloc in the People’s Assembly.
On Egypt’s “Friday of Rage” on 28 January 2011, Morsi was arrested along with other Brotherhood leaders.
After the ouster of Egypt’s long-time autocratic leader Hosni Mubarak, Morsi was appointed the president of the first-ever political party to be established by the Brotherhood in its 80-year history, the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP).
In a highly polarised population that gave him 51.7 per cent of the vote in the presidential election, Morsi became Egypt’s first democratically-elected leader in 2012. He was nicknamed as “The Spare Tyre”, as the original presidential candidate from Brotherhood and one of the chief financier of the group, millionaire businessman Khairat al-Shater, was forced to pull out on technical grounds.
His presidency was marked by deep divisions in Egyptian society and an economic crisis.
Often, there were deadly opposition protests, which grew to the level that millions of protesters took to the streets across Egypt to mark the first anniversary of the day he took office, on 30 June 2013.
Morsi was overthrown in 2013, in a military coup led by the country’s then-military leader and now president, Gen. Abdel Fattah el-Sissi. He had been imprisoned since.
He was charged with multiple crimes including, killing protesters, jailbreaks and spying for Iran, Qatar.
Morsi is survived by his wife, four sons, a daughter and three grandchildren.