Egypt FM spokesman condemns OHCHR statement on Morsi's death for 'lack of integrity and objectivity'

Ahram Online , Wednesday 19 Jun 2019

Foreign Ministry
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry (photo: Ahram)

The spokesman of Egypt’s Foreign Ministry Ahmed Hafez has strongly condemned statements issued by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights' (OHCHR) spokesperson on the death of ousted president Mohamed Morsi of a heart attack during his trial session in an espionage case on Monday.

"The statement issued by the OHCHR's spokesperson will be raised at the highest level due to its lack of objectivity and for containing violations and deviation, in addition to breaching the standards of professionalism and integrity," Hafez said in a statement issued today.

"The statement intentionally attempts to politicise a case of natural death," Hafez said, adding that such statements are not appropriate coming from an official spokesperson of an important international organisation.

Hafez’s statement comes in response to OHCHR spokesperson's call on Tuesday for an independent inquiry into the circumstances and causes of the death of Morsi, who died of a heart attack during a trial session in an espionage case on Monday.

The 67-year-old Morsi, who collapsed during the trial session, was pronounced dead upon his arrival at a hospital, according to a statement issued by the prosecutor-general.

Morsi was buried in a Cairo cemetery late on Monday.

Hafez also condemned the statement’s impugning of Egypt’s state institutions and judiciary.

Hafez said that this is not only a deliberate attempt to undermine Egypt's commitment to international standards, but also "a jump to flimsy conclusions that are not based on any evidence about the health of the mentioned person without any awareness, and even total ignorance, of the facts."

"It is an unacceptable act on the part of the OHCHR's spokesperson, especially in proposing that Egypt should take specific actions that are already applied by the Egyptian authorities out of a genuine national commitment and respect for international commitments," Hafez said.

Hafez also said that Egypt recognises that such "vulgar" and "politicized" statements are in line with comments made by “a certain country’s officials" and "entities” who are exploiting the event for political purposes. The spokesman added that these officials use the verbiage of respect for democracy and human rights while their actions reflect an attempt to hold on to power by any means necessary, turning their country into "a tyrannical dictatorship."

Hafez said that these officials have turned their country into a large prison where election results are manipulated, where polls are unjustifiably re-held, and where tens of thousands of dissidents and civil society activists are imprisoned.

The statement added that this state is "abusing and displacing thousands of employees, depriving citizens of their freedoms, silencing their voices, and restricting the fundamental freedoms of expression, assembly and others."

Hafez also said that this state sponsors thousands of terrorist groups in the region and is complicit in the loss of lives and the shedding of the blood of innocents in order to achieve political goals, gain influence and restore past glories. 

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