(from Reuters, 2/22.)
CAIRO (Reuters) – An Egyptian court has sentenced an author to two years in jail for public indecency after excerpts of his sexually explicit novel were published in a literary newspaper.
A chapter from Ahmed Naji's novel Istikhdam al-Hayat, or Using Life, was serialized in a state-owned literary newspaper and a case was brought against him last year by a private citizen who claimed the excerpt caused him distress and heart palpitations.
Naji was initially acquitted in January but the prosecution appealed the ruling and he was sentenced to two years in prison in a retrial on Saturday, his lawyer said. The verdict can be appealed.
In the initial ruling the court said it acquitted Naji because freedom of expression was enshrined in the constitution, adding that morality was subjective. The second court is yet to announce its reasons for overturning that ruling.