Egypt court rejects suspension of prison term for novelist Ahmed Naji pending appeal

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Saturday 27 Aug 2016

Naji was sentenced to prison for 'violating public decency' by using 'explicitly obscene phrases and words' in an excerpt of his novel published in a newspaper

File Photo: Writer Ahmed Naji (Photo: Al-Ahram)

A Cairo misdemeanour court rejected on Saturday a request by novelist Ahmed Naji that a two-year prison sentence against him for publishing “sexually explicit” material be suspended pending an appeal.

Naji was sentenced to prison in February for "violating public decency" by using "explicitly obscene phrases and words" after excerpts of his novel The Use of Life were published in a literary magazine in 2014.

Naji had been acquitted in January but the prosecution appealed the verdict and he was sentenced in a retrial.

The case was brought against him late last year by an individual, in his capacity as a concerned citizen, who claimed to have experienced "health issues" after reading the excerpt.

Naji's defence team has filed an appeal before the cassation court against the two-year sentence, but an appeal hearing has not yet been scheduled.

Egyptian novelists and intellectuals have declared their support for Nagy, demanding his release and stating that his prison sentence is unconstitutional.

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