Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, September 11, 2006

Ayman Nour's Words from Prison

In a letter marking the first anniversary of the 2005 presidential elections held in Egypt, Ayman Nour, the opposition candidate imprisoned for his run against President Hosni Mubarak, writes words to encourage those Egyptians who aspire to the higher ideals of freedom and democracy not to give up in the face of unrelenting repression. He writes that through perseverance to their dream of democracy the people will have the power to instigate the change they want to see in their country, and that “the people's living dreams represent a statement the strongest censor cannot delete. He may be able to postpone them but he does not have the power to delete them or avoid their explosion.”

He condemns the incumbent regime’s so-called democratic reforms through the amendment to article 76 of the constitution allowing multi-party elections. This effort, Nour argues, was undermined by the government’s own policies, which restrict voter participation by requiring, in place of ID cards, voting cards that determine local constituencies for national elections. Although the amendment to article 76 cites the right of all citizens to participate in the election of their national leaders, distribution of voting cards had come to a close even before the announcement that national elections would be taking place. Thus, many Egyptian citizens were deprived of their right to vote, hindering any possibility for fair and free elections.

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