Prominent Egyptian novelist Alaa Al Aswany says he faces military prosecution


Prominent Egyptian novelist Alaa Al Aswany revealed this week that he has been referred to military prosecution on charges of insulting President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi and incitement against the state.

"I am now accused in a military case. My only crime is that I am a writer expressing my opinion and criticising anyone who deserves it, even if he was Sisi himself," Alaa Al Aswany said in an opinion piece on the Deutsche Welle website.

The writer said he had been prevented from appearing on TV since Sisi came to power in 2014 and that he was later banned from writing in local Egyptian papers.

Aswany has been one of the influential voices critical of Sisi's government and alleged violation of human rights in the country. Egypt has seen a crackdown on freedom of expression under Sisi, with dozens of journalists imprisoned or forced into exile.

Last month, New York Times correspondent David D. Kirkpatrick was denied entry to the country and sent back to London after being held for hours.    (dpa)

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