Egypt Watch

Rights defenders demand international investigation into death of el-Erian

Three human rights organisations outside Egypt have called for an international investigation into the death of Dr. Essam el-Erian, a leader in the Muslim Brotherhood, about ten days after his death. The joint statement was issued on Monday by Shehab Centre for Human Rights, Salam International Organisation for the Protection of Human Rights, and Adalah for Human Rights.

The statement revealed that the organisations sent an “urgent appeal to the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the European Commission, members of the European Parliament, the African Commission for Human Rights, and the Human Rights Council of the Arab League.” The statement called on the Egyptian government to “open a fair and transparent investigation into the circumstances of the death of Essam el-Erian, 66.” The statement indicated that el-Erian died on August 13 this year. There is increasing debate about the abnormal conditions that led to his death despite the fact that the public prosecution statement indicated that he died naturally due to a heart attack.

In the same context, the Muslim Brotherhood group in Egypt called for the formation of an international medical committee to investigate the death of the prominent leader following “conversations about the existence of torture that he suffered and led to his death.” The Ministry of Interior did not comment on the accusations, but Egyptian media said that he died of a heart attack.

El-Erian held several leadership positions in the Brotherhood before he was arrested after President Morsi was overthrown in the summer of 2013. The Egyptian authorities banned the Muslim Brothers, to whom el-Erian belongs, months after the overthrow of the late President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.