Aug 14, 2020 07:43 UTC
  • Top Muslim Brotherhood leader dies in Egyptian prison

A senior leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood has died at the notorious Tora Prison in Cairo where he was serving multiple sentences, his lawyer says.

According to Press TV, Abdelmoneim Abdelmaqsood, a lawyer representing the Muslim Brotherhood, said in a statement to local media on Thursday that he received a call on Wednesday from the prison authority informing him of Essam el-Erian’s death.

"The authorities notified me of his death, and I informed his family to arrange for receiving his body (for burial)," the lawyer said. "We were informed of his death by prison authorities ... they told us the death was natural," he added.

Egyptian media reports said Erian died of a heart attack following an argument with a fellow inmate.

Prison sources said el-Erian had been moved to a prison hospital after suffering a heart attack and died during treatment.

Erian was the vice president of the Brotherhood's political wing. He was arrested after then-Defense Minister Abdel Fattah el-Sisi overthrew the Egypt's first democratically-elected President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

The cases brought against Erian carried sentences amounting to "a total of 150 years" in prison. Authorities placed Erian on their terror blacklist, a designation that has allowed them to freeze his assets.

El-Erian's family have not been able to see him for about six months after authorities suspended visits to prisons, claiming a precautionary measure to combat the coronavirus.

He had complained in previous court sessions of being prevented from treatment and being subjected to medical negligence.