Say No to “Metro” Confiscation
Last year we published an excerpt from Magdy El Shafee’s Metro, an Arabic graphic novel set in Cairo that deals with the financial and social insecurity in Egypt.
Shortly after it was published Shafee’s novel was confiscated. He and his publisher are on trial for its distribution. According to the “The Daily News Egypt” “Shafee and El-Sharqawy [Shafee’s publisher] are being charged under article 178 of the Egyptian penal code which criminalizes the printing or distribution of publications which ‘infringe public decency’ë which “‘forms part of a bundle of repressive laws that violate rights relating to freedom of expression.’ë
The trial is now set for this Saturday. Shaffee writes:
Next Saturday April 4th, A court session scheduled for the trial of Magdy El Shafie and Mohammed El Sharkawy ( Malameh publishing house) for distributing, publishing and selling the graphic novel “Metro”,
Your NO for confiscation
Is YES for our freedom
Is `YES for our solidarity
Is NOOOOO for the government prelude of harder stringing of freedom of the art and word,
in the press, the satellites, the internet and now the independent publishing houses.
we invite you to say: NO for metro confiscation and trial, Support freedom of arts and expression
Metro is considered the first graphic novel in Egypt. written and illustrated by Magdy El Shafee who won the UNESCO gratitude for best African comics 2006
Egyptian government officials said the book was “harmful to public manners” due to its alleged political and social commentary. www.baroqueinhackney.wordpress.com/2008/04/18/cartoonist-in-trouble/
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (HRinfo) – a pan-Arabic network that promotes freedom of speech has rejected “the confiscation of the novel and considers it a severe violation against the freedom of expression.
With the coming court session next saturday April 4th, HRinfo and 4 human rights organizations announced a new condemnation in March 30th entitled: [Egypt`s Farouk Hosny goes to UNESCO, and Magy elshafee goes to the court!! the auther of Egypt`s graphic novel “metro” threatened with 2 years jail sence.] ([in Arabic])
We lean on your being there in Abdeen court, down town Cairo 9.am Naguib metro station next saturday April 4th.