Sunday, May 13, 2007

Ayman Nour Assaulted In Prison: Wife

UPDATE: Check out the new blog covering the Mid East: Outsider On The Inside

Jailed Egyptian politician Ayman Nour, who ran as the main opponent to Hosni Mubarak in the country's first presidential election, was allegedly assaulted in prison this Saturday. According to his wife Gameela Ismail, he was dragged down some stairs and beaten:

She said Nour's lawyers had reported that he was dragged and beaten when he refused to walk up several flights of stairs. He had asked to take the elevator, complaining of joint problems, she added.

Ismail said he told his lawyers that he had been assaulted by three officers, and that Nour's lawyers had seen bruises on his legs and wrists.

An Egyptian government medical committee ruled earlier this year that Nour was healthy enough to serve out his prison term. The committee found Nour's health was not in danger so long as he took his medication and meals regularly.

Egypt has come under Western pressure over Nour's imprisonment. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has called on Egypt to release him.

Egyptian rights groups say Nour's health has seriously deteriorated since a cardiac catheterisation procedure in a Cairo hospital in December, aimed at finding out whether Nour needed heart surgery or stents to hold his arteries open.

Ismail has said her husband had an irregular heartbeat and had developed knee problems in prison that limited his mobility and required surgery.

It seems not only terrorists are treated poorly when detained by the State's security.

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