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Egyptian lawyer: Senior Brotherhood leader dies in prison

August 13, 2020 GMT
CORRECTS ATTRIBUTION OF DEATH TO ABDEL MONEIM ABDEL MAQSOUD -- FILE - In this April 21, 2015 file photo, Senior Muslim brotherhood leader Essam el-Erian, left, flashes the four-fingered symbol of Rabaah that refers to the deadly dispersal of supporters of former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in August 2013, inside a makeshift courtroom at Egypt's National Police Academy, in Cairo, Egypt. Abdel Moneim Abdel Maqsoud, an Egyptian lawyer said Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020 that el-Erian died of a heart attack in a Cairo prison where he was serving a 25-year sentence. The 66-year-old leader had been behind bars since 2013, following the military overthrow of Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi, who had hailed from the Brotherhood’s ranks. Morsi also died while in custody. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)
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CORRECTS ATTRIBUTION OF DEATH TO ABDEL MONEIM ABDEL MAQSOUD -- FILE - In this April 21, 2015 file photo, Senior Muslim brotherhood leader Essam el-Erian, left, flashes the four-fingered symbol of Rabaah that refers to the deadly dispersal of supporters of former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in August 2013, inside a makeshift courtroom at Egypt's National Police Academy, in Cairo, Egypt. Abdel Moneim Abdel Maqsoud, an Egyptian lawyer said Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020 that el-Erian died of a heart attack in a Cairo prison where he was serving a 25-year sentence. The 66-year-old leader had been behind bars since 2013, following the military overthrow of Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi, who had hailed from the Brotherhood’s ranks. Morsi also died while in custody. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)
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CORRECTS ATTRIBUTION OF DEATH TO ABDEL MONEIM ABDEL MAQSOUD -- FILE - In this April 21, 2015 file photo, Senior Muslim brotherhood leader Essam el-Erian, left, flashes the four-fingered symbol of Rabaah that refers to the deadly dispersal of supporters of former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in August 2013, inside a makeshift courtroom at Egypt's National Police Academy, in Cairo, Egypt. Abdel Moneim Abdel Maqsoud, an Egyptian lawyer said Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020 that el-Erian died of a heart attack in a Cairo prison where he was serving a 25-year sentence. The 66-year-old leader had been behind bars since 2013, following the military overthrow of Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi, who had hailed from the Brotherhood’s ranks. Morsi also died while in custody. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)

CAIRO (AP) — A senior leader of Egypt’s outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group died of a heart attack on Thursday in a Cairo prison where he had been serving a 25-year sentence, his lawyer said.

The attorney, Abdel Moneim Abdel Maqsoud, said Essam el-Erian, 66, had been behind bars since 2013, following the military overthrow of Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi, who hailed from the Brotherhood’s ranks.

After Morsi’s ouster, Egyptian authorities designated the Brotherhood as a terrorist group, imprisoned thousands of its leaders and members and cracked down heavily on dissent. Morsi also died while in custody — he collapsed in court while standing trial last year.

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El-Erian is not the first Muslim Brotherhood leader to die behind bars. Last year, ousted President Morsi collapsed in court while standing trial. The U.N. rights experts said then that Morsi was denied medical care, lost vision in one eye and suffered recurrent diabetic comas, concluding that the conditions he endured “could amount to a state-sanctioned arbitrary killing”.

Like many Muslim Brotherhood leaders, el-Erian stood several trials and faced a plethora of terror-related charges. In 2018, a Cairo Court ordered his execution along with tens of Muslim Brotherhood members who were convicted of staging an armed sit-in, vandalizing public property, as well on counts related to the killing of a policemen and an Egyptian citizen.

El-Erian’s lawyer had appealed the verdict.