Author Of \'Blasphemous\' Novels Arrested Trying to Leave Egypt
An Egyptian author accused of writing anti-Islamic novels was arrested Saturday at Cairo airport as he was trying to leave Egypt for Turkey, a police source said.
Salahadinne Mohsen, 43, was handed a six-month suspended sentence in July for publishing novels in which he described the Koran as the "holy book emanating from the ignorance of the Bedouins."
But he still has to appear before a state security court and is barred from leaving the country on the orders of the state prosecutor's office, a court source said.
The state security court was set up in 1981 under the state of emergency which is still in force in the country.
Its verdicts cannot be appealed but have to be ratified by the Prime minister, who last week refused to ratify Mohsen's verdict and decided to have him appear before another state security court. That followed an appeal by the state security prosecutor who argued that the original verdict was "too lenient", the court source said.
A date for the new trial has not yet been set, the source added.
Mohsen is the author of four books in which he "insults the Koran and the prophet Mohammad, claims Islam is the cause of under-development in Arab countries and had also called for the creation in Egypt of a League of Atheists", according to the charge against him.
He was arrested on March 10 at his home in southern Cairo. Mohsen started having his books published in 1982 at his own expense by a private printing house and selling them in various bookshops -- CAIRO (AFP)
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