Egyptian author Ahmed Naji who was given a two-year prison sentence for “violating public modesty” is to be released from jail.
Egyptian author Ahmed Naji who was given a two-year prison sentence for “violating public modesty” after publishing a book with references to sex and drugs, is to be released from jail.
The writer was jailed in February for after an excerpt of the book was published in the state-owned magazine Akhbar al-Adab. The passage contained references to sex and drug use, and a complainant alleged that reading the passage gave them “heart palpitations, sickness, and a drop in blood pressure”. Guardian UK reported.
Naji’s case has been the subject of global protests, thankfully the Human rights group International PEN protests has finally paid off.
“This is overdue but excellent news,” said Suzanne Nossel, executive director of freedom of speech group PEN America.
“The spectacle of Ahmed Naji being jailed for a chapter of a novel was among the most egregious affronts to creative freedom in Egypt.”
This is the third attempt to overturn Naji’s sentence. In the nine months he has spent in prison, Naji’s case has become a cause célèbre, with 120 writers and authors, including Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Philip Roth Woody Allen, Patti Smith and Dave Eggers, signing a PEN America open letter pressuring President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi to release him.
Naji will face another hearing on 1 January, when the court will either decide to order another trial or send him back to prison. Guardian UK added.
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