On 27 August 2016 a Cairo misdemeanor court rejected author Ahmed Naji’s request to suspend his two-year sentence on charges that he “violated public decency” by publishing “sexually explicit” passages in his novel ‘The Use of Life’, reported Ahram Online on 27 August 2016.
The author was sentenced to prison in February 2016 in a retrial after his original case was acquitted in January. The case began after a private citizen brought charges against the author that certain parts of his book left him experiencing “health issues”.
Naji’s defence team has filed an appeal.
PEN America awarded the author the PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award in May 2016 in recognition of his fight for artistic expression. More than 500 Egyptian artists and over 120 international writers have released a statement calling for Naji’s release, reported The Guardian on 30 August 2016.
» The Guardian – 30 August 2016:
Egyptian writer Ahmed Naji’s jail term upheld over sexually explicit book
» Ahram Online – 27 August 2016:
Egypt court rejects suspension of prison term for novelist Ahmed Naji pending appeal
» The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy – 27 August 2016:
Solidarity with Ahmed Naji: Egypt prosecutes creativity and freedom of expression
» PEN America – 31 March 2016:
PEN America to honor jailed Egyptian novelist Ahmed Naji with Freedom to Write Award
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