Egyptian author Ahmed Naji was sentenced to two years in jail on Saturday by a Cairo appeals court for publishing a sexually explicit excerpt of his novel that prosecutors said violated “public modesty.”
It was the latest in a series of rulings against artistic works or speech deemed offensive to Islam or values in the overwhelmingly conservative country. The spike in such cases has taken place under the rule of President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, who overthrew an Islamist president and has called for religious reforms to combat extremism.
Mahmoud Othman, a lawyer representing Naji, said his client was taken into police custody after the hearing. The court also ordered the editor-in-chief of Egypt’s top literary magazine, Tarek el-Taher, to pay a 10,000-Egyptian pound ($1,277) fine for publishing the excerpt, according to Othman. Read more