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Senior Muslim Brotherhood Leader Dies in Prison

Senior Muslim Brotherhood Leader Dies in Prison

Thursday, 13 August, 2020 - 12:00
Senior Muslim Brotherhood leader Essam al-Erian, seen here in the dock in a Cairo court in December 2018, has died in Egyptian custody, like the country's ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi. AFP

A senior leader of the Muslim Brotherhood died Thursday in an Egyptian prison where he was serving multiple sentences including on terror-related charges, his lawyer said.

Essam al-Erian, 66, was arrested in 2013 following the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi on the back of mass protests against his brief rule.

"The authorities notified me of his death, and I informed his family to arrange for receiving his body (for burial)," lawyer Abdelmoneim Abdelmaqsood told AFP.

"It was a natural death," he added.

Egyptian media reported that Erian died of a heart attack following an argument with a fellow inmate.

Erian was the vice president of the Brotherhood's political wing, the now-dissolved Freedom and Justice party.

He was sentenced in multiple cases on charges including incitement to violence, murder and espionage.

Authorities placed Erian on their terror blacklist, a designation that has allowed them to freeze his assets.

According to AFP, Morsi himself died in custody in June 2019, after falling ill during a court hearing.

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