Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Nour and Ghad Party receive another blow from court

Imprisoned Egyptian opposition leader Ayman Nour and his supporters received another blow from a Cairo court on July 31, further weakening the liberal Ghad Party, according to Al-Ahram Weekly.

The court rejected Nour’s claim of ill-health and reasserted that the party leader will serve his five-year sentence. However, according to the article, “the court obliged the concerned administrative bodies, including the Interior Ministry and the prosecutor-general, to provide Nour with specialized healthcare in and out of prison.”

One hour after the ruling, Nour received another legal blow when the Political Parties Committee named Moussa Mustafa Moussa, a Nour rival, the Ghad Party’s sole legitimate leader.

Gameela Ismail, Nour’s wife and deputy chairman of the Ghad Party, has continued to head the legal battle for what may be a sinking political party. She described the Political Parties Committee decision on Moussa as “the last episode in the scandalous state serial aimed at undermining what is left of Nour and his party.”

According to the article: “Political analyst Amr Hashem Rabie said Nour’s twin setbacks have closed the file of someone who was once a fiery opposition figure. Rabie said they also amounted to a challenge from the Egyptian government to the U.S. administration which has been pressing for Nour’s release.”

“While in most cases, we find the regime responding to U.S. demands, it sometimes adopts a defiant stance when it realizes that such demands may threaten the regime’s own interests,” Rabie said.

It is clear that the rulings contain both political strings and messages regarding foreign policy. Rabie insists the Cairo knows that the Bush administration is in need of Egyptian support for U.S. policies in the region. “That’s why they do not take U.S. pressure seriously, even if the U.S. threatens to cut the $200 million from the annual military aid allocated to Egypt if Cairo does not take steps towards political reform,” Rabie said.

As the article notes, “The money, part of the $1.3 billion the U.S. gives Egypt, will be decided upon in October.”

For the full article, click here.


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