Egypt: Novelist sentenced to two years over sexual content in his novel

Naji, pictured looking down, can appeal |AP
Naji, pictured looking down, can appeal |AP

An Egyptian court has sentenced an author to two years in jail after sexually explicit extracts from his novel were published in state media.

The case was filed by a private citizen who complained that the passage caused him distress and heart palpitations.

The author, Ahmed Naji, was initially acquitted but prosecutors appealed, leading to this sentence.

High-profile Egyptian writers defended Naji in court, saying the ruling was an attack on free speech.

A prominent columnist expressed outrage over the case on Sunday, accusing President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi of running a state no different from the Islamist rule of the man he toppled as leader, Mohammed Morsi.

“Your state and its agencies, just like those of your predecessor, hate intellectuals, thought and creativity and only like hypocrites, flatterers and composers of poems of support and flattery,” Ibrahim Eissa wrote in the al-Maqal daily.

President Morsi was ousted in 2013 amid mass street protests and accusations he was concentrating power in the hands of his Muslim Brotherhood party.

The chapter from Naji’s novel The Use of Life appeared in the state-run literary review Akhbar al-Adab.

The newspaper’s editor was ordered to pay a fine. Naji can appeal.

The views expressed in Op-Ed pieces are those of the author and do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of Libyan Express.
How to submit an Op-Ed: Libyan Express accepts opinion articles on a wide range of topics. Submissions may be sent to Please include ‘Op-Ed’ in the subject line.
You might also like

Submit a Correction

For: Egypt: Novelist sentenced to two years over sexual content in his novel

Your suggestion have been successfully submitted

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

Libyan Express will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.