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Egypt's Mohamed Morsi mourned on first anniversary of his death

New non-profit founded in late president's name aims to raise awareness of the importance of calling for free and fair democracy
A number of public figures have used the anniversary to highlight worsening prison conditions under current President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi (AFP)

A number of activists and public figures have marked the one-year anniversary of the death of Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first and only freely elected leader. 

Morsi died after collapsing in court during a session in his trial over charges of espionage.

He came to power following the 2011 popular revolution that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak. The academic and engineer rose to seniority in Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood before winning the 2012 presidential election as his group's candidate.

A London-based non-profit organisation has been set up on the anniversary of Morsi’s death.

According to the Morsi Foundation for Democracy’s website, the organisation aims to raise awareness of the importance of calling for free and fair democracy and creating platforms for engagement on social justice issues.

Morsi was one of tens of thousands of Egyptians detained by the government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Morsi's defence minister who deposed him in a 2013 military coup.

Activists and human rights defenders have criticised the conditions in which detainees in Egypt have been held. UN independent experts concluded that he was held under “brutal” conditions that contributed to his death and could amount to a state-sanctioned arbitrary killing. 

The experts also warned that thousands of more prisoners in Egypt were enduring similar conditions and their "health and lives" may also be at severe risk.

Morsi was buried in a service attended by only his closest family. Burial in his Nile Delta hometown of Sharqiya was denied. In contrast, Mubarak was buried with state honours in a huge ceremony in February.

No investigation into Morsi's death has been carried out.

Abdullah El Sherif, the popular host of a political satire YouTube show and an outspoken critic of Sisi’s government, took to social media to mark the anniversary.

Translation: May God have mercy on those who do not tolerate injustice and people who do not come down on those who express opinions on corruption, and those who fought it with patience. May God have mercy on you, who was loyal to your nation, and curses on those who mistreated you and increased torture.

In March 2018, a panel of British politicians and lawyers warned that Morsi's prison conditions were poor and could lead to his early death.

The panel, which had been convened at the request of Morsi's family, said he had been "receiving inadequate medical care, particularly inadequate management of his diabetes and inadequate management of his liver disease".

Many social media users have used the anniversary to highlight prison conditions in Egypt.

Translation: The first anniversary of the death of Mohammed Morsi - he was subjected to an unfair trial and inhumane prison conditions, deprived of medical care and communicating with his family and lawyers.

Human rights groups estimate that Sisi's government has jailed as many as 60,000 dissidents since the 2013 coup against Morsi, led by the then-defence minister.