CAIRO: State security investigations officers have seized a book critical of the Libyan regime and arrested its publisher, who was still in custody at time of press.
“The Leader Is Cutting his Hair, written by Idris Ali and published by Wa’ad publishing house was seized on Monday during the Cairo Book Fair.
Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression lawyer Ahmed Ezzat told Daily News Egypt that the book’s publisher, Gamily Ahmed Shehata was arrested during the raid by state security when all copies of the book were seized.
Ezzat said that there is a possibility that criminal charges may be pressed against him.
“Idris Ali is a Nubian writer who lived in Libya from 1976-1980. The book is about the repressive regime in Libya, [Moammar] Qaddafi’s dictatorship, Ezzat explained.
Two of Ali’s novels, “Dongola and “Poor , were translated into English and published by the American University in Cairo Press.
Ezzat suggested that the book’s seizure might constitute an act of “flattery to please Libya.
Mubarak paid a short visit to Egypt’s neighbor this week for talks with the Libyan leader about Arab affairs.
Publishers report that seizures of publications at the Cairo Book Fair are a frequent occurrence, and usually target books because of their religious or sexual content.