Egypt court sentences opposition leader

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Egyptian opposition leader and former candidate in presidential election Ayman Nour has been sentenced today for 5 years imprisonment, as it was reported by both officials and Nour's lawyer. According to the court, he and his liberal democratic party, Ghad, falsified signatures required to register a political party in January 2005. Both Nour's punishment and his imprisonment have been condemned by the international community.

Nour, who stood as a candidate in the recent presidential election, held on September 7 2005, claims that there was political pressure on the judgement and he'll take it to the court of cassation. The leader's lawyer, Amir Salim, said that the verdict would be annulled by the appeal court, as Associated Press reports.

Groups of Nour's supporters, organized mainly by his wife Gameela Ismail, protested against the decision and the style of government of current president Hosni Mubarak, shouting "Down with Mubarak, Down with the regime."

Ayman Nour was arrested in January, 2005 and then imprisoned. He was released when the presidential campaign started.