Letter from Ayman Nour

Gameela Ismail has sent a letter by her husband Ayman Nour smuggled out of prison three days ago. The letter is intended for Edward McMillian-Scott, a Conservative MEP and the vice president of the European parliament. McMillian-Scott has been quite active on the Nour case and human rights in Egypt in recent years, driving the European parliament's involvement in the affair. Gameela also notes that the Egyptian authorities have now prevented Nour from writing letters for three months. The letter urges MEPs to make their voice heard for his case.

An English translation follows.


30 May 2006
Tura Mazraa Prison
South Cairo


From:
Ayman Nour


To:
Esteemed Members of the European Union Deputy Head of the European Parliament

I address this very short letter to you and to all the honorable and free people in the world, to all the representatives of the free people and those whose consciences refuse oppression, injustice, false accusations and merciless murder.

My letter is very short due to the circumstances out of my control restricting my freedom and depriving me of my human rights, the foremost of which is the right to write, express and reject the injustice and suffering I am subjected to!!

The day my freedom was taken away in January 2005, your great efforts –after God and combined with the efforts of my supporters- played a crucial role in my release. The first faces I saw –an honor to me- were the faces of a delegation of European male and female parliament representatives. Your visit to me during my imprisonment is not only reason for breaking the doors of this prison and my temporary release, it also gave me the possibility of exercising my right in running for the first presidential election. I was imprisoned to prevent me from running for the election in January 2005. With God's grace and the enthusiasm of the reformists I was able to come in second to the president and be the only competitor to him and his son despite the rigging and all forms of injustice, defamation and changing the results. I also paid an extra price when my constituency's election results were rigged thus causing me to lose my permanent seat in the parliament due to blatant rigging. Some of you were in Cairo and witnessed a part of the tragedy.

Today I pay a new and high price as punishment for having run for the presidential election. I am also being prevented from continuing the democratic reform path in Egypt so that the current regime can strengthen its presence by claiming there is no alternative for it other than fundamentalism and terrorism, thus forcing people inside and outside Egypt to accept its presence.

Unfortunately, ladies and gentlemen, I do not pay this price alone. My children, family, party, my whole generation and all the reformists in this country pay the price, too. I lost my freedom, my work as a lawyer, journalist and chairman of the first and only civil political party to be established in a quarter of a century, the duration of Mubarak's rule. I am threatened of remaining in prison for five years and prevented from exercising my political rights for another five years to guarantee that Egypt is inherited by Mubarak's son, as well as making me an example to anyone who thinks of breaking the power monopoly not only in Egypt but in the Arab world!!

I call upon you to exert every effort to defend my fair case not for my sake, nor for the sake of my children or my party that is being destroyed, my human rights which are violated in this prison every morning, or my life which illness, injustice and oppression are eating away at. I ask you to defend my fair case to keep hope alive for the coming generations which we do not want to lose hope. It is for these generations that I call upon you to exert every effort to defend my fair case and to visit me in prison to witness the truth which the Egyptian regime is very good at concealing and telling lies to prove the opposite. Free people of the world. I am dying alone for a principle, for my country and for freedom. Please raise my voice before my spirit departs this world.

Ayman Nour
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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.