Family of Egypt's deposed leader Mohamed Morsi visit him in prison

CAIRO — The family of Egypt's deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi was allowed to visit him in prison this week for the first time since he was ousted in a military coup this summer.

Morsi's wife, Naglaa Ali Mahmoud, told the Associated Press that the supervised visit took place Thursday at the maximum-security Borg al-Arab Prison on the outskirts of the Mediterranean city of Alexandria and lasted about an hour. She said her husband remains "steadfast and bold."

Morsi has been held largely incommunicado since the July 3 coup with only a few telephone calls permitted to his family. He made his first public appearance in court Monday, but the judge quickly adjourned the case to Jan. 8 as a wild melee broke out between supporters and opponents of the ousted leader.

Morsi, who refused to wear his prison-issued attire, faced the judge in a dark suit, shouting from the defendant's cage "I am the legitimate president!"

He is being tried with 14 other senior members of his Muslim Brotherhood movement on charges of incitement to murder stemming from deadly clashes outside the presidential palace late last year.

Morsi's three sons and a daughter accompanied his wife on this week's visit, according to Egypt's Ahram Online news site.

A son, Osama, told the Al Jazeera news channel that his father, remains in good spirits and is receiving the same treatment as other prisoners. He has been held at a medical unit since he arrived at the facility complaining of high blood pressure and high blood sugar, but Ahram Online reported that officials expect he will soon be transferred to a cell.

Thousands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters continue to rally every week for the reinstatement of Morsi, the country’s first democratically elected president. At least two people were killed and 20 injured when clashes broke out during protests Friday in Cairo and other communities, according to the Egyptian Health Ministry and local news reports.


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Ingy Hassieb is a special correspondent.

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