CAIRO: Egyptian authorities have stopped jailed opposition leader Ayman Nour sending articles to his party s newspaper, Nour s wife Gameela Ismail said on Sunday. Nour, who came a distant second to President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt s first multi-candidate presidential elections, has threatened to start a hunger strike if he cannot send his articles to the weekly Ghad (Tomorrow) Party newspaper.
The prison authorities said he is not allowed to send written papers outside the prison anymore, Ismail told Reuters after meeting Nour in prison. There is a decision to stop him from writing. Nour was jailed by a court in December for forging signatures to help found the El-Ghad Party. He says the charges were fabricated to keep him out of politics. The United States called for Nour s release and said his jailing cast doubt on Egypt s commitment to democratic reform. Nour has launched an appeal against his five-year sentence but the public prosecutor has questioned him about new allegations, including injuring an official from the ruling National Democratic Party. Ismail said that Nour s most recent article, on the results of Mubarak s 24 years in power, was confiscated by the prison authorities. An Interior Ministry official had no comment. Ismail said a senior government official responsible for prisons met Nour and asked him to soften the tone of his articles. Nour lost his parliamentary seat in elections late last year. He said the government had committed abuses in the voting for Egypt s lower legislative assembly and the earlier presidential elections. The government says the elections were free and fair. Reuters