Saturday, December 24, 2005

Opposition Leader Ayman Nour Sentenced to 5 years in Jail

Nour has received a five-year jail term after being found guilty of fraud. I do not know what to say that was kind of expected. I did not except him to be acquitted.

"Hundreds of Nour's supporters at the court shouted slogans against President Hosni Mubarak as the verdict was given.

"Hosni Mubarak's rule is illegal! The trial is illegal!" they chanted.

His lawyer, Amir Salim, is quoted by the Associated Press news agency as saying the decision against him will "go into the dustbin of history...This is a political verdict that will be annulled by the appeal court."

In first reaction, White House Criticizes Egypt for Conviction of Ayman Nour, Runner-Up to Mubarak in Sept. Election
The White House said Saturday that the conviction "calls into question Egypt's commitment to democracy, freedom, and the rule of law."

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the United States was "deeply troubled" by the conviction and called on Egypt to release Nour. Photo by AFP: Supporters cry after hearing the senetence.

The European Union expressed concern as well: "This verdict sends negative signals about democratic political reform in Egypt. The EU expects that any appeal application by Mr Nour will be looked at fairly by the Egyptian Courts."

Whether we agree with Ayman Nour or not, today is another blow to democracy efforts that I call farce that started with the amendement of article 76 of the constitution that allowed multiple candidates to run for the presidency.

What answer should we seek for the attacks by the thugs of the ministry of the interior on opposition demonstrations, the Black Wednesday May 25, the cold blood attacks on voters in the parliamentary elections....the list of violations is long... and life is getting heavier by the minute... we are back to square ONE.... The regime's National Democratic Party thugs are in power, joined by the "Banned" Muslim Brotherhood and Mubarak is still in power for 30 years grooming his son.....Is there a hope?

On a different note, while looking for Ayman Nour's images on the internet today, I noticed that the Ministry of the Interior provided the soliders of the State Security/Central Security with bullet-proof jackets that's because the citizens shoot the soldiers and police officers. May be I read the news upside down few weeks ago when the Central Security killed 12 voters with rubber bullets and tear gas bombs.

Publius Pundit is reporting on the sentence.

Human Rights Watch on Ayman Nour trial (Dec 7), "Judge Jails Opposition Leader, Others, Without Explanation"


At 1:20 PM, Blogger stefania said...

Bad News for Secular Democratization in Egypt.

I'm reporting it on my blog

At 3:54 PM, Blogger Freedom for Egyptians said...

It is a black day for reform/democracy efforts.

Thanks Stefania!


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