Imprisoned activist lashes out at Mubarak over lack of pardon
Egyptian political activist Ayman Nur, imprisoned for fraud, lashed out at Egyptian President Hosny Mubarak Wednesday after he was not pardoned as were many other prisoners, dpa reported.
Nur, founder of al-Ghad Party and former presidential candidate, said his not being pardoned despite his poor health "rules out any doubts about the president's interference in judiciary decisions".
In a statement released by his wife, he said he was jailed because of a presidential decree. Nur also said that he will start a food strike against the "attacks" by security forces on his supporters.
Nur's wife, Gamila Ismail, said she went to visit Nur Tuesday with 11 of his supporters, but they were denied access. Ismail said her companions were detained inside a police car and left in the summer heat all day.
"Although the law allows up to four visitors each time, the prison administration only allowed me to visit him," said Ismail in the statement.
Ismail had been hoping her husband, a diabetic, would be among more than 1,500 other prisoners who were pardoned by Mubarak on Tuesday.
Nur, who led his al-Ghad party during Egypt's first ever presidential elections in September 2005, was found guilty a few months later of forging papers required for establishing his political party.
The 44-year-old lawyer has completed half of his five-year sentence. On national holidays, it is customary for the president to grant pardons for prisoners who have completed half their sentence. Wednesday marked the anniversary of the 1952 revolution.
"Who should be pardoned? Ayman Nur or murderers, spies and deserters?" read a sign Ismail held outside Cairo's Torah prison Tuesday, where Nur is detained.
Last May, Nur was forbidden from publishing newspaper articles from his jail cell.