Nour fights to regain civil rights after prison
|Sunday, November 15,2009 08:57|
|By Nadia abou el Magd, Foreign Correspondent|
After more than three years in an Egyptian prison, the opposition leader Ayman Nour could be forgiven for taking a step back from the political spotlight. But nine months since his release, on the ground of poor health, he has been fighting battles on several fronts against political opponents and a government he believes is trying to stamp out his political ambitions.
The Al-Ghad leader, who stood against the country’s long-time president, Hosni Mubarak, in a 2005 election, is fighting to regain his civil rights, taken away from him as a result of his conviction for forgery in the same year.
He said the last week has been particularly tough, adding: “Not that I had any easy day since I got out of prison in February”.
Another setback emerged this week when Abdel Halim Qandil, founder of the Kefay, or Enough, an opposition movement, withdrew from the Egyptian Campaign Against Tawreeth, or the inheritance of power from Mr Mubarak, 81, to his son Gamal, 45.
Sitting under a large painting of himself, Fathi Serour, the speaker of parliament and other prominent legislators, the 44-year-old lamented the lack of support he has received in recent days.
Mr Nour has always been a controversial figure in Egyptian politics, seen as a troublemaker and intentionally provocative to other politicians and, lately, some opposition figures. He made his fame by being a vocal critic of the government, pressing ministers with tough questions, especially about torture and emergency laws.
Then, on December 24, 2005, he was sentenced to five years in prison for forging powers of attorney to bring about the formation of Al-Ghad, meaning Tomorrow – charges he has always denied. He was released on February 18.
Mr Nour is busy legally contesting the hurdles he has faced, however, this has not stopped him from touring the country. He had just come back from Alexandria at dawn on Monday, and he spent a few days before that in upper Egypt. His tour is a “knocking doors campaign” to get in direct contact with people to know their needs first hand.
“Otherwise I feel very lonely, after my wife left, and my two adolescent sons are busy with their lives,” Mr Nour said.
“The prison didn’t manage to obliterate me from political life,” he said. “I will remain determined to regain my rights and play my role, its no longer my choice, but my destiny, to fight the injustice I’m still facing.