Alaa Al-Aswany- Photo courtesy of his Facebook page
CAIRO – 14 March 2019: A lawsuit was filed against Egyptian writer and novelist Alaa al-Aswany at the military General Prosecution Office, calling for his trial over accusations of “insulting the president, the Armed Forces, and judicial institutions.”
As per the lawsuit, which was filed by Layer Ayman Mahfouz, Aswany has written a series of articles in a German media outlet, criticizing the Egyptian regime.
“Such articles insult the president, who is the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. They insult the Armed Forces and Egypt’s military and civil Judiciaries,” the lawsuit read.
The lawsuit was brought before the military prosecution after Aswany wrote an opinion article titled “Why don't we understand what the world understands?” for Deutsche Welle Arabic on March 13. In his article, Aswany claimed that the megaprojects that President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi orders to implement have no feasibility studies. He also criticized appointing military generals in civil positions.
In 2018, Aswany was slammed by lawmakers after publishing his novel "Jomhouriat Ka’an" (The Republic of As IF) as it criticizes the state’s institutions, Parliament, constitution and courts.
In 2002, Aswany wrote "Omaret Yacoubian", translated as "The Yacoubian Building”. The novel followed the lives of various people within the titular Yacoubian Building in Downtown Cairo. It was hit by much criticism, as it incorporates promiscuity and homosexuality, which were described in explicit details.