Prominent Muslim Brotherhood leader, Essam El-Erian, died today in the notorious Scorpion Prison, south of Cairo, at the age of 66, according to several sources.
Local media, including Al-Youm Al-Sabe’ and El-Watan newspapers, reported that El-Erian died after suffering a heart attack in his prison cell in Tora Prison – which is also known as Scorpion Prison.
The BBC quoted El-Erian’s lawyer, whose name was not mentioned, saying authorities informed him his client had died of natural causes.
The lawyer explained that he and El-Erian’s family have not been able to visit him for about six months, after the authorities suspended prison visits allegedly as a precaution to avoid the spread of the coronavirus.
El-Erian served in many positions in the now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood including being the vice chairman of the group’s political wing – the Freedom and Justice Party, before he was arrested following the military coup against President Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.
He was sentenced to several life sentences in the years following the overthrow of Morsi. Human rights organisations have confirmed that all the charges against him were politicised and are a means of retaliation against former officials who refused to accept the coup against Morsi.