Artists seek release of Egyptian writer jailed over sex scene

More than 120 writers, journalists and artists around the world have urged Egypt's president to free a novelist jailed for two years over a sexually explicit scene in a book. The signatories, who are also demanding that novelist Ahmed Naji be acquitted, include the writers Robert Caro and Philip Roth, film director Woody Allen and composer Stephen Sondheim, said Pen America, an organization that defends freedom of expression. Naji was jailed in February after an Egyptian court ruled that his novel "The Guide for Using Life" offended public decency. A chapter of it was published in a state-owned newspaper and the Egyptian censorship board had approved the book. Naji will be honored May 16 at the annual PEN Literary Gala New York City. His brother Mohamed will accept the award on his behalf, Pen America said. "Writing is not a crime," reads the letter

Comments are closed.

Sign up for the DADA Newsletter