Freedom Spreading: Egypt Edition

President Bush:

Across the broader Middle East, people are claiming their freedom. In the last few months, we’ve witnessed elections in the Palestinian Territories and Lebanon. These elections are inspiring democratic reformers in places like Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Our strategy to defend ourselves and spread freedom is working.

Or not. Here is Egypt’s first runner-up in the last election:

Egyptian opposition politician Ayman Nour, former head of the liberal Al Ghad party, has threatened to start a hunger strike in protest at violence he says he has suffered in prison, where he has been held since January 2006.

…Nour was sentenced to five years jail for having falsified signatures for the foundation of his party. The 43 year old lawyer has always declared his innocence, blaming instead the regime for wanting to remove him from the political arena.

During the presidential elections in September 2005, the first multi party contest in the country’s history, Ayman Nour won 8 percent of the vote which saw Mubarak reconfirmed after 24 years in power – for another six year term.

Additional background from HRW here.