Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Ayman Nour's Deteriorating Health

More than a dozen Egyptian HR groups signed a petition today asking for the release of former presidential candidate Ayman Nour from jail today. The pleasant surprise is that the U.S. State Department added its voice to the chorus.

The Egyptian statement read in part, "On the 18th January 2007, information were received concerning the deterioration of Nour's health conditions after having a catheterization at Al Kasr Al Ainy Hospital. He suffered from bleeding in heart arteries after he was transferred back to Tora Prison. Nour is diabetic and receives medication for bleeding control which eventually led to a bleeding in his eye retina, which may totally damage his optical nerves. He is also suffering from deep venous thrombosis and decaying in the joint of the right leg due to preventing him from moving inside the prison."

Later in the day, State Department spokesman Sean McCormick said, "We have continuing and serious concerns about his medical condition. At the very minimum, he should be given all the medical care that he needs." McCormick added that the Bush administration would ask "for some consideration of" Nour's release.

It's interesting that the State Department mentioned the case publicly considering it was very prominently noted that the secretary of state didn't discuss it publicly during her visit to Egypt last week. But it is the right thing to do, so credit should be given.

In the meantime, the Egyptian groups have continued their work on behalf of Ayman and helping his wife Gameela keep up Ayman's efforts to promote human rights and democracy in Egypt. Ayman Nour remains in Mazraat Tora Prison. He can receive letters of support written to Ayman Nour, Mazraat Tora Prison, Tora, Cairo, EGYPT.

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