Today at Bulaq Abu Al-Aila Misdemeanour Court, supporters are gathering to attend a court session for imprisoned Egyptian novelist Ahmed Naji, jailed for the excerpt of his Using Life published in Akhbar al-Adab literary magazine:
UPDATE: The request to the court has been rejected.
Supporters have asked those in Egypt to gather outside the court:
We invite all writers, journalists, and those interested in freedom of expression and creativity to attend the Bulaq Abu Al-Aila Misdemeanour court session scheduled for Saturday, July 16 to hear the defense’s motion for a stay of the two year sentence issued against writer #AhmedNaji for his novel “Use of Life.”
The Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE) had filed a motion for a stay of execution in the case. In late April, Naji’s defense team also filed an appeal before the Court of Cassation against the two year sentence handed down on February 20; the appeal has not yet been scheduled.
Naji is one of a number of Egyptian writers and journalists who have been targeted by the Sisi regime. Creatives have also been targeted, with the satiric “Street Children” troupe seeing their detention extended on July 13. But Naji’s case, the only one specifically targeting a novel, has garnered widespread support from authors as prominent as Donna Tartt and JK Rowling and activists like Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha (left, below).
Wafaa Heikal (@WafHeikal) said she hopes to be able to tweet from outside the proceedings.