AFTE reports abuses of free speech during the 2022 Cairo International Book Fair

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On Tuesday, the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression released a report on the 2022 Cairo International Book Fair. It said it documented free speech abuses, including preventing publishing houses from participating in the fair and confiscating displayed books. The rights group explained that there were publishing houses that were not allowed to participate in the fair, such as Dar Tanmia, but the authorities did not specify the reasons for the refusal. Also, security authorities confiscated books, including A History of the Zionist Movement by Muhammad Medhat Mustafa. Anwar al-Hawari’s work, The New Dictatorship, was also banned.

According to the rights group, the Egyptian authorities have banned books published by Egyptian publishing houses and banned books by non-Egyptian writers, such as the books of the Sudanese writer Ihab Adlan. The security services in Egypt usually exercise their role in censoring books and publications by confiscating, arresting publishers and writers, and raiding publishing houses, it added.