Court rejects motion to suspend novelist Ahmed Naji's 2-year sentence

Saturday 16-07-2016 06:27 PM

Novelist Ahmed Naji, Ahram

CAIRO, Jul 16 (Aswat Masriya) - A Cairo court denied on Saturday a stay of execution request for novelist Ahmed Naji, who is currently serving a two-year prison sentence.

Naji was sentenced in February to two years in jail over charges of publishing "sexually explicit extracts" from his novel Istikhdam al-Hayah (Using Life) in the state-owned cultural newspaper Akhbar Al-Adab.

The newspaper's editor was ordered to pay an EGP 10,000 fine for publishing the article.

Naji's defense submitted an appeal to the prosecution to halt the execution of the verdict, but the Bulaq Abu Al-Aila Misdemeanour court denied it on Saturday.

The case dates back to 2014, after a reader filed a complaint claiming that the text caused him to "experience heart palpitations and an extreme feeling of sickness along with a sharp drop in blood pressure”.

Naji, was initially acquitted in his first trial in January. However, the prosecutor appealed, leading to this sentence as he was accused of violating public modesty.

In April, Naji's defense team filed an appeal before the court of cassation against the two year prison sentence, but a session is yet to be scheduled for the appeal.

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