Novelist Ahmed Naji was fined LE 20,000 ($1,130) on Tuesday following a retrial for publishing “indecent text that violates public modesty” due to a sexually loaded chapter from his novel “Use of Life” - Facebook
CAIRO – 24 April 2018: Novelist Ahmed Naji was fined LE 20,000 ($1,130) on Tuesday following a retrial for publishing “indecent text that violates public modesty” due to a sexually loaded chapter from his novel “Using Life”. He had previously been sentenced to two years in prison in February 2016.
Although Naji’s final sentence entails a fine, he already spent 10 months in jail after the original sentence. He has received strong support from literary figures throughout the crisis.
Akhbar al-Adab (Literature News) newspaper published chapter five of the novel in August 2014, which included the offensive text. In October 2015, a private citizen filed a lawsuit against him after reading the chapter, which discusses sex openly. Akhbar al-Adab Editor-in-Chief Tarek al-Taher was also fined LE 10,000.
Although Naji was acquitted in January 2016, the prosecution appealed the judgment, leading to the two-year sentence in February 2016. The main charge is that he “published written material loaded with mortal lust and fleeting pleasure, employing his mental faculty and pen in a wicked purpose that violates public morals and good ethics, and in tempting [readers] into debauchery and deflecting from the sense of modesty,” according to the prosecution.
Naji’s appeal was accepted by the Court of Cassation in December 2016, nullifying the jail sentence and ordering a retrial.