Held on obscenity charges, Egyptian author freed from prison

AP News
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Posted: Dec 22, 2016 10:48 AM

CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian author has walked out of a Cairo police station after a court suspended his two-year prison sentence pending review of his appeal on obscenity charges.

The year-long case of Ahmed Naji, after a magazine published a sexually explicit excerpt of his novel, has drawn international condemnation and accusations of a crackdown on freedom of expression. It was seen as part of a larger crackdown on civil rights in Egypt under the rule of army chief-turned-President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.

Surrounded by his friends, Naji was rushed into a car with tinted windows on Thursday and made no comments to reporters.

Naji was initially acquitted, but prosecutors appealed and a higher court in February sentenced him to two years in prison.