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Cairo court to hear third appeal to release writer Ahmed Naji

Naji was handed a two-year prison sentence in February, for publishing a “sexually flagrant article” in the state-owned cultural newspaper Akhbar Al-Adab.

Mohammed Saad , Tuesday 15 Nov 2016
Ahmed Naji
Ahmed Naji
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An Egyptian misdemeanor court will hear a third motion from the defense of imprisoned Egyptian writer, Ahmed Naji, on 26 Nov, requesting the suspension of a two year prison sentence Naji was handed for publishing parts of his novel "The Use of Life," deemed "sexually explicit" in a state literary newspaper.

The motion follows the formation by the presidency of a committee to review the cases of youth detained for non-violent “politically related crimes." Activist groups have added the author's name to several lists of detainees worthy of presidential pardon.

The committee has yet to officially release a list of names for review by the presidency.

Naji was handed a two-year prison sentence in February by a North Cairo appeals court, for publishing a “sexually flagrant article” in the state-owned cultural newspaper Akhbar Al-Adab.

The prosecutor accused Naji of publishing a "flagrantly erotic article in which the charged writer published a text that spewed sexual lust and transient pleasures, using his mind and pen to violate public decency and good morals, inciting promiscuity."

Naji was first referred to the misdemeanor court in November 2015 and was cleared from all charges in January 2016. The verdict was successfully appealed by the prosecutor, however, resulting in the two-year sentence.

The initial decision to refer Naji to court came after one of the newspaper's readers, known as Hani Saleh Tawfik, filed a legal complaint claiming that the text in question caused him “to experience heart palpitations and an extreme feeling of sickness along with a sharp drop in blood pressure,” due to the indecency of the text.
 

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