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Egypt: Political Prisoners

Volume 461: debated on Wednesday 6 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations she has made to the Government of Egypt on Ayman Nour, the imprisoned leader of the El-Ghad party, with particular reference to (a) the justice of his incarceration and (b) his ability to receive medical attention; and if she will make a statement. (140145)

Mr. Nour was convicted and sentenced to five years’ imprisonment in December 2005 on charges of forging signatures required to register his newly-established political party, Al-Ghad. All appeals for his release have so far been rejected.

Mr. Nour has access to medical facilities, including hospitals. The National Council for Human Rights visited him in May this year. The latest appeal hearing to determine whether Mr. Nour should be released on medical grounds is scheduled for 12 June. We would of course welcome such a release.

At the time of Mr. Nour’s conviction we publicly voiced our concerns about his imprisonment and called for his release. In 2006, the EU raised the case with the Ministry of Justice and asked to visit Mr. Nour: the request was eventually refused on legal grounds. We continue to follow his case closely and to raise it with Egypt at official level.