February 20, 2009

Egypt frees dissident leader Ayman Nour after 3 years' imprisonment

Per Al Jazeera English, Egyptian authorities released liberal politician Ayman Nour, an opponent of Egypt's military regime, citing Nour's declining health. Nour led the al-Ghad ("tomorrow") party, a secular liberal political party in Egypt created in 2004 to push for democratic reforms and human rights improvements. In 2005 Nour ran against 28-year incumbent Hosni Mubarak in Egypt's first multi-candidate presidential elections and was subsequently jailed on charges of forgery.

Upon his release, Nour announced he would step down as leader of al-Ghad, al Jazeera reported.

Many pointed to Nour's incarceration as a sore point in US-Egyptian relations.

@BlackInformant: condi watch: Interview: Ayman Nour on Egypt's Elections - New York Times http://tinyurl.com/dfyol2

Some speculated whether Obama, to whom Nour wrote from prison, may have played a role.

@WilfDinnick (Dubai): Is Obama already changing Mideast?Finally Ayman Nour finally released. Prelude to Obamas first speech in mideast?

@cath_sitterding (Washington, D.C.): Ayman Nour released from prison (finally) in Egypt... Mubarak's way of making nice with US? http://cli.gs/uejGqZ

The Egyptian blogosphere responded as well with analysis of the high-profile move.

@moftasa (Cairo): Ayman Nour released at The Arabist Fetched from del.icio.us/whirlpool 1 minute ago. http://arabist.net/archives/2009/02/18/ayman-nour-released/

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