An Egyptian author has been sentenced to two years in prison for writing “sexually explicit” scenes that were published in a magazine. Novelist Ahmed Naji was found guilty Saturday of violating public modesty for the writings from his novel “Using Life.”
A man had complained that Naji’s writings caused him heart palpitations, sickness and a drop in blood pressure. Prosecutors took the case to court, arguing that Naji’s use of “vulgar” phrases to describe genitals and sexual intercourse constituted a “disease destroying social values.”
“Citizens can’t bring such cases to court without proving a direct and personal link to the action in question,” Mahmoud Othman, one of Naji’s lawyers, told CNN. Instead, prosecutors have been framing their cases as an offense to public morality, he said.
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“The continuation of such policies would increase fears that people of different viewpoints and fiction [writers] would be thrown in prison for the mere expression of these opinions in any format,” a number of Egyptian rights organizations said in a joint statement following Naji’s sentence.”
Link to the rest at CNN and thanks to NM for the tip.