EGYPT: Stop that dissident mail
No more letters home for Ayman Nour. An Egyptian court has ruled that the jailed political dissident and leader of the Tomorrow Party can no longer write to his wife. The reason: Nour has angered officials by mailing home essays critical of the government that ended up in the nation’s independent newspapers.
"This decision shows a determination to deny him every right as a prisoner," Nour's wife, Gamila Ismail, told AFP.
The ruling is the latest attempt to silence Nour, a lawyer who ran against President Hosni Mubarak in 2005 and was later sentenced to five years in prison for forging political documents. His cause was quickly taken up by human rights organizations that frequently criticize Egypt for political repression, torture and the jailing of activists, especially members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Nour was on the minds Egyptians on Sunday, when President Bush, speaking in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh, criticized Middle East governments for silencing their opponents: "Too often in the Middle East, politics has consisted of one leader in power and the opposition in jail," he said.
—Jeffrey Fleishman in Cairo
Photo: Ayman Nour ran against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in 2005 and was later sentenced to five years in prison for forging political documents. (AFP)