Senior Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Leader Dies in Cairo Prison

Essam el-Erian, the deputy head of the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing, has died in an Egyptian prison after a heart attack, state-run Ahram Gate reported Thursday.

El-Erian collapsed in Cairo’s Torah jail after an argument with another imprisoned Brotherhood leader over the organization’s current plight, the outlet said, citing an unidentified security official.

Senior Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Leader Dies in Cairo Prison

Deputy of the Freedom and Justice Party, the Brotherhood’s political wing, he was arrested in October 2013, months after a military-backed popular uprising led to the ouster of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi.

Mursi had been fielded for the job by the Brotherhood in the aftermath of the Arab Spring uprising.

El-Erian had been sentenced to lengthy prison terms on a range of charges, including inciting violence. After Mursi’s removal, the government launched a sweeping crackdown targeting the Brotherhood and allied Islamists -- a move that was then widened to include activists and other critics.

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