Politician Ayman Nour was denied renewal of his passport based on a decision from the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs after the State Litigation Authority appealed on Sunday an earlier court decision obliging the ministry to renew his passport.
The memorandum of appeal rejected the first-degree verdict and stated that Nour had not filed a request to the foreign ministry to extract a passport. It further added that Nour frequently announced his disdain and disloyalty to the Egyptian state, while galvanising international opposition against it.
The Foreign Ministry was contacted for further details, however, the comments were not forthcoming by the time of publishing.
The First Degree Court of the State Council looked into and ruled in Nour’s favour in October after he filed a lawsuit demanding the renewal of his passport. The court alluded to the person’s natural right, guaranteed by the constitution, to retrieve all documents and papers that prove their belonging to the state.
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) denounced the “foreign ministry’s intransigence” towards Nour by refusing to perform its duty to renew passports for citizens.
ANHRI said the foreign ministry’s refusal to renew Nour’s passport is considered a grave violation of the natural right of any citizen to retrieve documents related to their identity in the country. It also violates the constitutional right of freedom of movement.
Article 62 of the Egyptian constitution states the “Freedom of movement, residence, and emigration shall be guaranteed. No citizen may be expelled from the State territory or prevented from returning thereto…”.
Currently residing in Lebanon, Nour is a prominent opposition figure and highly critical of the regime since former President Hosni Mubarak’s era. He participated in Egypt’s first multi-candidate elections, in which he was a distant second to the then-incumbent president Mubarak. Months later, Nour was put on trial for fabrication to form his opposition party. He was found guilty in 2005, the verdict was ratified by the Appeals Court in 2006, and he was eventually released in 2009.