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Arabic press review: Morsi was 'the victim of tyranny'

Lebanese newspaper al-Akhbar condemns the Egyptian government, while Jordanian authorities ban funeral prayers outside the Amman embassy
A picture of Egypt's first freely elected President Mohamed Morsi is held up as supporters cheer during a rally at Tahrir Square in Cairo 13 July, 2012 (Reuters)

Morsi 'the victim of tyranny'

Lebanese newspaper al-Akhbar has accused the Egyptian government of killing former president Mohamed Morsi, following his collapse in a Cairo court on Monday.

"Mohamed Morsi was murdered. This is what yesterday’s events suggest, regardless of what the circles of power have penned in their statements," al-Akhbar wrote in an article accompanied by the headline: "The victim of tyranny.”

"Inside the courtroom, where those who should have been present have escaped, namely Muhammad Hosni Mubarak, his sons, his regime cronies, his ministers and the leaders of his security services... the first elected president in Egypt fell, drawing the curtains on a trial which was closer to a slow execution," said the newspaper.

"Morsi died, leaving behind a legacy of secrets that were not disclosed up to his death. He was unable to record and document these, bearing in mind that the head of the court in which he was being tried had for months disabled video recording."

Al-Akhbar said Morsi’s death came as a surprise, but that the circumstances over recent years – such as the former president’s health problems and ill treatment – had paved the way for his death.

Morsi appeared “pale and gaunt in more than one court session”, the paper noted.

Was Morsi's death suspicious?

The sudden death of Morsi has raised doubts and prompted analysts to speculate that it was "a deliberate assassination", according to electronic newspaper Arabi21.

An Egyptian political analyst, who preferred to remain anonymous, told Arabi21 that there are two signs suggesting Morsi was deliberately targeted.

The first is that on 7 May Morsi said during a court session that "his life is in danger".

The second is that, according to the Egyptian analyst, Morsi did not die inside the courtroom; instead he collapsed there and was then transferred to the hospital.

This leads the analyst to believe that the former president was likely assassinated in hospital.

In a statement on Monday, the public prosecutor said Morsi was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital, at 4.50pm local time.

Jordan bans funeral prayers in front of Egyptian embassy

Funeral prayers scheduled to be held for Morsi in front of the Egyptian embassy in Amman were banned by authorities, Jordanian newspaper Assabeel reported the secretary-general of a Jordanian Islamic movement as saying.

"The governor of the capital, Saad al-Shehab, called the party and informed us that the prayers outside the Egyptian embassy in Amman had been banned," Murad Adaylah said.

Adaylah noted that the Islamic Action Front would instead accept condolences over Morsi’s death on Tuesday at the headquarters of the group’s general secretariat.

The Islamic movement had called for absentee funeral prayers to be held outside the embassy on Tuesday night, in protest against the policies of the Egyptian government, which it held responsible for the former president’s death.

*Arabic press review is a digest of reports that are not independently verified as accurate by Middle East Eye.