Take action for imprisoned novelist Ahmed Naji

UPDATE: Novelist Ahmed Naji’s appeal hearing has now been adjourned to 18 December. Please help keep up the pressure to #FreeNaji

Novelist and journalist Ahmed Naji is currently serving a two-year prison sentence for ‘violating public modesty’. The charge relates to the publication of excerpts from his 2014 novel Istikhdam al-Hayat (The Use of Life) in Akhbar al-Adab magazine, also in 2014.

Three motions for a stay of implementation of Naji’s sentence filed by his lawyers have now been rejected. A successful stay would have allowed Naji to be released pending his appeal.

After more than nine months in prison, Naji’s appeal date has finally been set for Sunday, 4 December. In the meantime, we’re continuing to call on the Egyptian authorities to release him immediately and unconditionally. Please join us and help #FreeNaji!


Join our Thunderclap for Ahmed Naji

Join us in sending a mass message of support for Ahmed Naji this Saturday, 3 December, at 6pm (GMT) by pledging a tweet or Facebook message here.

Spread the word

Please share details of Ahmed Naji’s case and examples of his writing on social media and with friends and colleagues. If you have a Twitter account, please consider tweeting your support with the hashtag #FreeNaji.

Suggested tweets:

  • Egyptian novelist Ahmed Naji should be released immediately & unconditionally #FreeNaji
  • Join me in calling on @AlSisiOfficial to release imprisoned novelist Ahmed Naji #FreeNaji
  • Read Ahmed Naji’s short story The Plant (transl. Mona Kareem) & join the call for his release https://www.englishpen.org/campaigns/ahmed-najis-the-plant/ #FreeNaji
  • Read acclaimed Lebanese writer Hanan Al-Shaykh’s letter to imprisoned Egyptian novelist Ahmed Naji http://www.pen-international.org/newsitems/hanan-al-shaykh-writers-to-imprisoned-writer-ahmed-naji/ #FreeNaji

Sign the petition for Ahmed Naji’s release

You can also sign a petition expressing solidarity with Ahmed Naji.

Send a message of support

Ahmed Naji is among the writers at risk PEN is encouraging our supporters to write to as part of our annual Season’s Greetings initiative. If you would like to write to Ahmed Naji, you can do here.

Read and share Ahmed Naji’s work

Share Mona Kareem’s translation of Ahmed’s ‘The Plant‘.

Write to the Egyptian authorities

  • Expressing concern at the continued imprisonment of Ahmed Naji;
  • Calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Naji and all other writers and journalists currently detained in Egypt in connection with their peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression, in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Egypt is a state party, as well as with articles 65 and 67 of Egypt’s constitution;
  • Urging that Article 178 of the penal code which criminalises content that violates public morals be reviewed as a matter of urgency to ensure that it is not used to impose restrictions which exceed those that may be imposed under international law.

Abdel Fattah al-Sisi,

Office of the President,

Al Ittihadia Palace,

Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt,

Fax: +202 2 391 1441

Email: p.spokesman@op.gov.eg


Salutation: Your Excellency

Twitter: @AlsisiOfficial

Minister of Justice

Mohamed Hossam Abdel Rahim

Ministry of Justice,

Lazoghly Sq.,

Fax: +202 2 795 8103

Email: mjustice@moj.gov.eg

Salutation: Dear Minister



About Cat Lucas

Cat Lucas is English PEN's Writers at Risk Programme Manager

View all posts by Cat Lucas →

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