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Egypt frees dissident Nour for health reasons.

Summary: Egyptian authorities freed opposition politician Ayman Nour on Wednesday after more than three years in prison on forgery charges he said were politically motivated.

Cheers and trilling of joy

Egyptian authorities freed opposition politician Ayman Nour on Wednesday after more than three years in prison on forgery charges he said were politically motivated.

Cheers and trilling of joy filled the air of the Gad office in Talat Harb square in Cairo as friends and members of Gad party watched Ayman Nour's release on the news.

"We are more than joyous, we are thrilled out of belief that Mr. Nour has been released and is coming back to us," Warda Ali assistant to Ayman Nour and Jameela Ismail told AlArabiya.net

Nour told Reuters by telephone from his home that he planned to continue his work in politics through the opposition Ghad party.

"Thanks to God I am released," he said. "I am going to practice my role as a politician through the Ghad party and through my previous role," he added.

Gameela Ismail, Nour's wife and spokeswoman of the Gad party told AlArabiya.net Nour intends to resume his post as leader of the party, insinuating that he has plans for another presidential campaign.

"He will carry on with what he was doing prior to his imprisonment," Ismail said. While prosecution sources said Nour was released on health grounds, the newly freed Gad leader insisted the reasons for his release were political.

"The public prosecutor decided to free Ayman Nour for health reasons," the official said, requesting anonymity.

Nur mounted an unprecedented challenge against veteran leader President Hosni Mubarak during the 2005 presidential election before being jailed on forgery charges many saw as trumped up.

Nour was jailed shortly after coming a distant second to incumbent President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt's first multi-candidate presidential elections.

He said then the Egyptian government was punishing him for daring to challenge Mubarak, who has ruled the most populous Arab country since 1981.

The U.S. administration of former President George W. Bush has called repeatedly on Egypt to release Nour. Cairo says its judiciary is independent and not politically motivated.

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Publication:Al Arabiya (Saudi Arabia)
Date:Feb 17, 2009
Words:366
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