Head of Egypt's Syndicate of Journalists Diaa Rashwan (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Egypt's State Information Service (SIS) slammed on Monday the regional director of Human Rights Watch over her tweets on the death of ousted president Mohamed Morsi in Cairo.
"In a new ethical low for Human Rights Watch, Sarah Leah Whitson, Director of the Middle East and North Africa division of HRW, published a number of tweets on her account regarding the circumstances of the passing of the deposed president, Mohamed Morsi," the statement said, adding that Whitson’s tweets contained "nothing but false claims that reaffirm HRW's tradition of circulating lies."
Shortly after Morsi's death on Monday, Whitson posted a series of tweets accusing the Egyptian government of "criminal negligence by not providing him with adequate healthcare."
Morsi died after collapsing during a court session in an espionage case in Cairo.
"She also used to the deceased deposed president's passing to give credence to such claims and apply them broadly to all inmates serving sentences in Egyptian prisons," the SIS said.
"It’s astonishing that Whitson posted her first tweet less than 30 minutes after the announcement of the deceased deposed president’s passing; and in this very first tweet she prematurely assumed that the deceased deposed president passed away due to medical negligence without providing any evidence or proof of her allegations bearing in mind that the only verified information that has been provided regarding his death was the Statement released by the Public Prosecutor regarding the preliminary assessment of the deceased deposed president’s passing," the statement said.
The SIS added that the public prosecutor said it would provide more details after forensics officials complete their examination of the body.
The 67-year-old Morsi, who was ousted in 2013 following protests against his rule, was pronounced dead upon his arrival at hospital, according to a report issued by the prosecutor-general.
Morsi was buried in a Cairo cemetery late on Monday.
"HRW’s last report on the deceased deposed president’s health condition was 2 years ago on June 19th 2017 and it included some allegations of violations of his right to have access to proper healthcare," the statement said.
The SIS added that the June 2017 HRW report contradicted an official report that was issued simultaneously which stated that Morsi was in good health and only suffered from diabetes.
"Since then no reports or updates were provided by HRW on the health of the deceased deposed president which proves that the allegations made by Whitson are nothing but unfounded lies," read the SIS statement.
The SIS added that Morsi submitted his last official request to the court regarding his health condition on 19 November 2017 asking to be treated at his own expense and that the court approved the request.
"This further demonstrates how false Whitson’s allegations really are," the SIS said.
"The conclusions that Whitson has reached in her tweets are nothing but an attempt to prematurely reach outcomes with the most politicized intentions," it added.
The SIS accused HRW of attempting to take advantage of the death of an Egyptian citizen to make political statements and unfounded criminal accusations that have no relation whatsoever to human rights work.