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Ayman Abd El Aziz Nour (Egyptian Arabic: أيمن عبد العزيز نور‎, IPA: [ˈʔæjmæn ʕæbdelʕæˈziːz ˈnuːɾ]; born 5 December 1964) is an Egyptian politician, a former member of the Egyptian Parliament, founder and chairman of the El Ghad party.[1] He left Egypt following the 2013 Egyptian coup d'état,[2] though he has stated he has gone to Lebanon for treatment of a wound he sustained while in prison and hopes to return to Egypt.[3]

Ayman Nour
أيمن نور
Ayman Noor (cropped).jpg
Member of the Magles El-Sha’ab
In office
December 1995 – 12 December 2005
Personal details
Born (1964-12-05) 5 December 1964 (age 54)
El Mansoura, Egypt
Political partyGhad El-Thawra Party (2011–present)
Other political
New Wafd Party (until 2001)
El-Ghad Party (2001–2011)
Alma materMansoura University

Candidacy and arrestEdit

Nour was the first man to ever compete against former President Hosni Mubarak for the presidency of Egypt in 2005. He was the first runner-up in the 2005 presidential election with 7% of the vote according to government figures and estimated at 13% by independent observers, although no independent observers were allowed to monitor the elections. Shortly after placing a distant second, in what are widely believed to have been corrupt elections, he was imprisoned by Mubarak under allegations of "forgery" which have been widely criticized to have been politically motivated and corrupt charges. Nour was released on "health grounds" on 18 February 2009 only a few months before he would have completed his prison sentence.[4] Following the fall of Mubarak in the 2011 Revolution, Nour intended to run for the now-vacant presidency, but was disqualified by the Presidential Election Commission.[5]

Nour was stripped of his parliamentary immunity and arrested on 29 January 2005. He was charged with forging PAs (Powers of Attorney) to secure the formation of the el-Ghad party. Nour vehemently denied the charges (from prison).

The arrest, occurring in an election year, was widely criticized by governments around the world as a step backwards for Egyptian democracy. Few seem to regard the charges as legitimate. Nour remained active despite his imprisonment, using the opportunity to write critical articles and make his case and cause better known.

In February 2005, Condoleezza Rice abruptly postponed a visit to Egypt, reflecting U.S. displeasure at the jailing of Nour, who was reported to have been brutally interrogated.[6] That same month, the government announced the following month that it would open elections to multiple candidates.

In March 2005, following a strong intervention in Cairo by a group of Members of the European Parliament led by Vice-President Edward McMillan-Scott (UK, Conservative), Nour was freed and began a campaign for the Egyptian presidency.[7]

On 24 December 2005 he was sentenced to five years in jail. Though diabetic, Nour engaged in a two-weeks long hunger strike to protest his trial.[8]

Nour's verdict and sentencing made global headlines and were the first item of news on most international news broadcasts, including the BBC.

On the day of Nour's guilty verdict and sentencing, the White House Press Secretary released the following statement denouncing the government's action:[9]

The United States is deeply troubled by the conviction today of Egyptian politician Ayman Nour by an Egyptian court. The conviction of Mr. Nour, the runner-up in Egypt's 2005 presidential elections, calls into question Egypt's commitment to democracy, freedom, and the rule of law. We are also disturbed by reports that Mr. Nour's health has seriously declined due to the hunger strike on which he has embarked in protest of the conditions of his trial and detention. The United States calls upon the Egyptian government to act under the laws of Egypt in the spirit of its professed desire for increased political openness and dialogue within Egyptian society, and out of humanitarian concern, to release Mr. Nour from detention.

In February 2006, Rice visited Mubarak yet never spoke Nour's name publicly. When asked about him at a news conference, she referred to his situation as one of Egypt's setbacks. Days later, Mubarak told a government newspaper that Rice "didn't bring up difficult issues or ask to change anything." From prison, Nour stated "I pay the price when [Rice] speaks [of me], and I pay the price when she doesn't," Nour said. "But what's happening to me now is a message to everybody."[10]

In June 2007 President Bush, speaking at a conference of dissidents in the Czech Republic, revisited the issue of Ayman Nour, saying:[11]

There are many dissidents who couldn't join us because they are being unjustly imprisoned or held under house arrest. I look forward to the day when a conference like this one include Alexander Kozulin of Belarus, Aung San Suu Kyi of Burma, Oscar Elias Biscet of Cuba, Father Nguyen Van Ly of Vietnam, Ayman Nour of Egypt. (Applause.) The daughter of one of these political prisoners is in this room. I would like to say to her, and all the families: I thank you for your courage. I pray for your comfort and strength. And I call for the immediate and unconditional release of your loved ones.


I have asked Secretary Rice to send a directive to every U.S. ambassador in an un-free nation: Seek out and meet with activists for democracy. Seek out those who demand human rights.

Nour was released on health grounds on 18 February 2009.[4] It has been alleged that his release from prison was due to U.S. President Obama demanding his release as a condition to meet with Mubarak.[12]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Nour supports Brotherhood Morsy Egypt Independent, 27 March 2013
  2. ^ "Court to consider withdrawing Ayman Nour's citizenship". Cairo Post. 23 January 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2014.
  3. ^ "Egyptian vote more one-sided than Mubarak's days - Ayman Nour". Aswat Masriya. 27 May 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Egypt's Nour released from jail". BBC News. 18 February 2009. Archived from the original on 19 February 2009. Retrieved 18 February 2009.
  5. ^ "Ten Egyptian candidates barred from elections". British Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 1 June 2014.
  6. ^ Kessler, Glen Rice Drops Plans for Visit to Egypt The Washington Post 26 February 2005; Retrieved 15 March 2007
  7. ^ Williams, Daniel Egypt Frees An Aspiring Candidate Presidential Hopeful Is Released on Bail The Washington Post 13 March 2005; Retrieved 20 March 2007
  8. ^ Former Egyptian Presidential Candidate Sentenced to 5 Years Hard Labor Voice of America, 24 December 2005
  9. ^ "Statement on Conviction of Egyptian Politician Ayman Nour". U.S. National Archives. 24 December 2005. Retrieved 6 June 2009.
  10. ^ Spolar, Christine: Egypt reformer feels iron hand of the law] Chicago Tribune (IL); 3 June 2006, Retrieved 20 March 2007
  11. ^ "President Bush Visits Prague, Czech Republic, Discusses Freedom". U.S. National Archives. 5 June 2007. Retrieved 6 June 2009.
  12. ^ Macleod, Scott (19 February 2009). "Egypt Frees a Dissident: A Gesture for Obama?". TIME.

External linksEdit