The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network welcomes the release of the Egyptian opposition leader Ayman Nour
The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network (EMHRN) welcomes the release of Egyptian opposition leader Ayman Nour, head of the liberal Al-Ghad Party, and President Mubarak’s most prominent opponent in the first presidential elections that took place in Egypt in 2005. The Euro-Mediterranean Network calls on the Egyptian authorities to see this move as a positive and practical step towards improving the country’s human rights’ situation, to the forefront of which is the issue of releasing all prisoners of conscience and political dissidents whose freedoms have been either curtailed arbitrarily or as a result of trials which lacked the minimum standards of justice.
The prosecutor’s office said Ayman Nour was released Wednesday for health reasons, after serving a total of three years, three months and 13 days in jail. He had been sentenced to five years in prison following his conviction in the case of forging signatures on petitions to register the Ghad party.
However, according to regional as well as international observers, the trial had been marred by many irregularities that called into question the impartiality and integrity of the judgement, and underpinned political motives. The impartiality of the verdict was further called into question given Nour’s ill-treatment in prison, and the fact that he was refused any form of amnesty, and this in marked contrast with various other criminal prisoners who were freed after serving only half their prison sentence.