- Human RightsPrisoners of Conscience
- December 6, 2007
- 5 minutes read
LCHR Egypt Action Alert, Free Ayman Nour
When the world celebrates Human Rights Day on Monday, December 10, remembering the historic day in 1948 when the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we must also recognize those still struggling to gain the rights we hold dear.
This week, one man who symbolizes this struggle, Egyptian parliamentarian and presidential candidate Ayman Nour, begins the third year of his five year prison sentence in Cairo’s Tora jail. As you know, Nour was sent to jail on trumped up forgery charges following Egypt’s presidential election in 2005
Nour’s ongoing plight is emblematic of the myriad injustices faced by so many Egyptians. His arrest signaled the beginning of a new wave of repression by President Hosni Mubarak, who has targeted not only his political opponents, but also judges, journalists, bloggers, ethnic and religious minorities, and civil society and human rights activists.
As citizens of the world who believe in human dignity, we owe Nour and others whose rights have been denied our solidarity, and our advocacy. When we stand together to demand justice, we will prevail. Please join us in demanding justice for Ayman Nour
Here’s what you can do to help right now.
1) Sign a petition for Ayman Nour’s release here:
http://www.freeaymannour.org/ (select the “sign in” link on the left side of the page)
2) Add your name to our sign-on letter calling for Nour’s release. The text of the letter appears below this message. To add your signature, please respond to this message with your name and professional affiliation.
3) Join us on Monday, December 10 for a vigil in front of the Egyptian Embassy to express solidarity with Ayman Nour and peacefully protest human rights abuses in Egypt. Pending a permit, we are planning to hold the vigil at noon. The address is 3521 International Court NW, a short walk from Van Ness metro station on the Red Line. More details will follow soon
We need your help to show that the world has not forgotten about Ayman Nour. Please add your signature to the online petition and LCHR’s sign-on letter, and join us at the vigil on Monday. Stand up and be counted as a voice for the voiceless!
Kathryn Cameron Porter
Leadership Council for Human Rights
LCHR’s draft sign on letter appears below:
The Honorable George W. Bush
President of the United States of America
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
Egypt’s leading voices for democracy and human rights need your help. In the wake of a new wave of repression, we write to express our concern and to urgently request your intervention. As members of the international human rights community, we are specifically concerned about Egyptian parliamentarian and presidential candidate Ayman Nour, who is now entering the third year of his five year prison sentence.
As you know, Mr. Nour was sent to jail on trumped up charges of forgery following Egypt’s 2005 presidential election. His appeal for release on the grounds of his serious health problems was rejected this summer. His health remains extremely precarious.
Ayman Nour’s plight is emblematic of the myriad injustices faced by many Egyptians, not only President Mubarak’s political opponents, but also judges, journalists, bloggers, ethnic and religious minorities, and civil society and human rights activists.
In Ayman Nour’s own words, “The [Egyptian] regime knows only one language. It is the language of prisons and arrests.”
The language of prisons and arrests must be replaced by a new language, one that respects the dignity and rights of all Egyptian citizens.
On December 10, the world will celebrate Human Rights Day, which marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the United Nations General Assembly. On this day, we also remember the plight of those whose rights have been denied, including Ayman Nour.
It is not too late to reverse Mr. Nour’s unjust sentence. President Mubarak should act now to grant his unconditional release and amnesty. Pending his release, Egypt’s government should explicitly guarantee Mr. Nour’s safety, proper medical care, and full visitation rights as specified under Egyptian law. Following his release, he should be granted freedom of movement, association, and political activities, as well as those freedoms for all members of the El Ghad party and other political parties in Egypt.
We urge you to call on President Mubarak to release Ayman Nour and to act in accordance with Egypt’s stated commitment to democracy. We believe that your strong statement of support for Mr. Nour will lead to a resolution. We hope that Mr. Nour will be released quickly on medical grounds.