Metro, first sexually explicit Arabic novel seized in Egypt

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The Arabic language’s first graphic novel appears it will need more time before it will be published as Egyptian police confiscated the book in what has been described as another threat to freedom of speech.

“Metro” was to be published in the near future by Malalmeh publishing house, but police raided their office here and took the book.

Egyptian government officials said the book was “harmful to public manners” due to its alleged political and social commentary.

Activist and blogger Mohamed Al Sharkawy, who is under arrest for his participation in the 6 April general strike across the North African nation owns Malameh.

Sharkawy made headlines two years ago during his detention when he said police in Cairo sexually assaulted him.

No charges were brought against the policemen despite Sharkawy’s lawyers documenting the incident and handing it over to the prosecutor.

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (HRinfo) – a pan-Arabic network that promotes freedom of speech – said the police broke into the Malameh office and took the novel, which they argue disrupts the country’s sentiments and “adversely affects the country’s image abroad.”

“Metro” is written by Magdi El Shafi and the publishing house said it was to be the first graphic novel to be published in Egypt and the Arabic speaking world.

The contents took place in a political and social framework, HRinfo said.

HRinfo has rejected “the confiscation of the novel and considers it a severe violation against the freedom of expression.”

“Confiscating the “Metro” novel by the police showed significantly who is controlling the field of writing and his way of thinking,” HRinfo said in a statement. Panapress.

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