Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, September 10, 2007

Witness in Nour trial found dead in prison cell

A prosecution witness in the trial of Ayman Nour, Egypt’s leading opposition politician, was found dead on September 6, The Associated Press reported the same day. According to police, the witness, Ayman Hassan, was found hanged by a bed sheet in his prison cell.

Hassan’s lawyer, Amir Salem, commented on the incident. “A few weeks ago Ayman Nour was asking for a hearing into the situation of one of the defendants and suddenly we hear today he killed himself,” Salem said. “So I’m going to ask the prosecutor general to open a real big criminal investigation about Ayman Hassan’s death.”

In a June 2005 session of the trial, Hassan said that he wanted to change his testimony, and later he told reporters that the police had threatened his nieces to force him to implicate Nour.

In the next court session he testified that Nour was innocent of all charges of forgery and his lawyer asked for his client’s protection from those who forced him to confess.

As the article notes: “Nour ran against Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in the country’s first openly contested presidential elections in September 2005 and came in a distant second. A few months later he was convicted and jailed for forgery.”

Nour’s imprisonment has been widely criticized by Western leaders and international rights groups.

For the full article, click here.


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