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Egypt appeals court rejects release of opposition leader on medical grounds

[JURIST] Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court on Monday upheld a July 2007 decision refusing to grant medical release [JURIST report] to jailed opposition leader Ayman Nour [advocacy website; JURIST news archive]. The court reportedly held that Nour, who suffers from heart disease and diabetes, can receive adequate medical treatment in prison and that his health is therefore not in danger. Nour was convicted [JURIST report] in 2005 of forging signatures on documents registering his Al-Ghad Party [party website] for presidential elections. He was sentenced to five years in jail.

Last May, an Egyptian criminal court rejected [JURIST report] a plea by a public prosecutor for Nour's early release. Nour has said the charges against him were politically motivated and his wife has accused the Egyptian police of abusing Nour [Reuters report] in custody. In 2005, the United States said it was "deeply troubled by the conviction" and urged Egypt to release Nour [WH press release]. International rights groups, including Human Rights Watch, called his trial unfair and flawed [HRW report]. AP has more.

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