Friday, July 17, 2009

Egypt's Metro Comic Book Verdict Adjourned

The Qasr El Nil Court of Misdemeanors in Downtown Cairo was to issue its verdict in the Metro Comic Book case today - July 18 - but this verdict was adjourned until October 3. Apparently this court's presiding judge is in his swimming suit somewhere enjoying his summer holiday.

An ultra-conservative lawyer had filed charges of misdemeanor crimes against the comic book's author/illustrator Magdy El Shafee, and its publisher Mohammed Sharkawy several months ago - under the pretext that this comic book contains indecent material, including inappropriate language and drawings. The lawyer claimed that the actions/works of the author and publisher of this comic book amount to misdemeanors since they "contravene public decency." If found guilty both El Shafee and El Sharkawy maybe fined up to LE 20,000 (around $US 3,600) and/or sentenced to imprisonment for up to two years. This verdict may be appealed before a higher court.

In April 2008 a police officer had ordered that the Metro Comic Book be removed from all bookshelves across Cairo. This confiscation order was upheld by courts in April 2009 and again in June 2009.

Down with censorship and down with the confiscation of art!

No comments: