After four years of filing complaints of prison torture, jailed opposition leader
Ayman Nour has filed suit against Boutros Boutros Ghali demanding one
million pounds ($181,750) and accusing the former chairman of the National
Council for Human Rights of failing to perform his duties.
"Nour's condition worsens daily behind the walls of Egypt's Tora prison,"
activist Jameela Ismail, Ayman Nour's wife, told AlArabiya.net.
Real motives behind arrest
Nour was sentenced during the 2005 Egyptian presidential elections to five
years in prison on charges of forging many signatures that his opposition
Ghad party needed to get legal recognition, charges vehemently denied by Nour.
Human rights organizations and democracy advocates however believe the real causes of arrest were Nour's decision to run against President Hosni Mubarak in the September 2005 elections, in which Nour secured 13 percent of the votes, according to independent surveys.
“Ayman Nur’s trial, like the violence against voters in the parliamentary elections, is a terrible advertisement for President Mubarak’s supposed reform agenda, and for Egypt’s judiciary,” Joe Stork, deputy director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East division said in a 2005 HRW report.
Since his arrest, Nour has repeatedly filed complaints to the council detailing the physical and emotional abuse he says he faces daily at the hands of Tora prison guards. The council responded by setting up a committee of inquiry into Nour's situation.
"What we have seen from the council was one single visit in 2005 followed by promises to look into Ayman's case. Four days after Ayman was beaten up by Egyptian police officers as he was being transferred to the Giza court for a hearing," Ismail recalled.
Ismail, who is allowed to visit her husband once every two weeks, believes the beating came in defiance of the committee's visit.
"The police and guards beat him in a clear sign to the committee that what NCHR does means nothing and will achieve nothing," she said.
HRW has condemned Egypt's record of human rights abuses in its 2007 report on the country's human rights violations.
“Egypt has for too long committed serious and systematic abuses at home while consistently undermining UN mechanisms to defend rights,” Joe Stork was quoted in the report.
NCHR chief Boutros Boutros Ghali said he had no knowledge of any lawsuit filed against him.
"I have not received any official papers about a lawsuit and until then, these claims are just rumors," he told AlArabiya.net.
He claimed that NCHR has sufficiently addressed Nour's complaints, adding that the Egyptian Judiciary has the final say on Nour's plight.