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Al-Quds Al-Arabi raps

BBC Monitoring

Text of editorial "Fabricated US-Egyptian crisis", carried by London-based newspaper Al-Quds al-Arabi website on 9 June

    Egyptian media outlets have been launching a fierce campaign against US President George Bush because he has demanded that President Husni Mubarak release Ayman Nur, leader of the Egyptian opposition Al-Ghad Party. They have been using the most obscene phrases and terms to describe the US President, the least of which is that he is an idiot.

    Attacks by Egyptian official media outlets against Arab politicians who differ in opinion with the Egyptian leadership and criticize its practices to normalize relations with Israel or its human rights violations are normal and usual. In fact, such attacks are no longer effective for they have been repeated many times and the same terms were used each time. However, the fierce attack on the US President himself is new and unprecedented. It reflects a noticeable deterioration in US-Egyptian relations.

    President Bush is the last person to talk about democracy and respect for human rights because he has destroyed Iraq, killed a million of its sons under the slogan of democracy, practiced the ugliest kinds of torture in Abu Ghurayb prison, established an illegitimate detention camp in Guantanamo, which is a flagrant violation of human rights and international charters and agreements. However, this does not mean that his demand that Ayman Nur be released is a crime that warrants the current attack by the official Egyptian media outlets.

    [The official Egyptian media] remained silent on President Bush's crimes in Iraq. Moreover, it supported his father when he destroyed Iraq under the slogan of liberating Kuwait during the first US war in 1991. Furthermore, it played an effective role in provoking against the former Iraqi regime and its actions in an attempt to appease a clear and carefully planned US strategy in this regard.

    The Egyptian Government's record with regard to human rights violations is embarrassing and cannot be defended. The records of Amnesty International and other similar specialized organizations are replete with stories about torture, military trials, and executions while denying the defendants the right to be defended or the right to appeal.

    Ayman Nur did not commit a crime that warrants imprisonment all these years. The man believed the lie about democracy in his country. He thought that the amendment to the article in the Egyptian Constitution that allows competition in the presidential election was true and gave him the opportunity as a politician to take part in the competition. The outcome was catastrophic. He was arrested on fabricated charges because he dared to win second place in the elections that many people believe were forged.

    The Egyptian Government must improve its human rights record. It must stop arresting opponents, especially from the Muslim Brotherhood. Prisons have become full of people who are arrested for weeks, months, and perhaps even years without fair trial.

    The Egyptian political system requires radical reforms that warrant political partnership and fair elections that would produce a People's Assembly that represents the various sectors of the people. Afterward, there will be no detainees in Egypt whose only crime was demanding reforms, including Ayman Nur, and President Bush will find no reason to interfere in Egypt's internal affairs especially with regard to human rights.

    We wish there was a real crisis between Egypt and the United States, but not because of Ayman Nur, rather because of the United States' crimes in Iraq, its embargo on the Palestinians, and its bias towards Israel's bloody practices.

    Source: Al-Quds al-Arabi website, London, in Arabic 9 Jun 07



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