Libyan Writers in Danger Following Attacks on 2017 Collection, ‘Sun on Closed Windows’

Read the statement from PEN International   at their website. Kashan   was even at the Cairo International Book Fair’s official Libya pavilion in 2012. Libyan authorities should take all necessary measures to protect the life and the safety of the writers, editors, and all those involved with the book, and take effective steps to investigate and prosecute those who are threatening their safety, and uphold the writers’ right to write and readers’ right to read”. Jbouda was released the following day. Since August 26, co-editors   Laila Moghrabi   and Khaled Mattawa, as well as al-Bokhari, the other contributors, and even the London-based publisher, have been the target of large-scale media and social-media attacks. More than two dozen Libyan writers — contributors to the collection   شمس على نوافذ مغلقة (Sun on Closed Windows) —   have been under a week-long wave of media and social-media attacks, including threats of death and physical harm, following a literary event in Zawiya, Libya on August 26:
Yesterday, PEN International issued a statement   expressing they are “deeply concerned” for the authors’ safety. Instead of supporting the writers and editors who are targeted by a religious group, the Ministry of Culture has condemned the contents of a book which is a work of literature. However, after that, the public library was shut down, apparently to prevent further literary events. Mattawa further clarified in his statement that he took full responsibility for the selections. The group managed to alarm some Libyans as to the collection’s dangerous content. The collection, which is more than 500 pages, brings together the work of   25 Libyan writers and two essays by prominent Libyan critics. #شمس_علي_نوافذ_مغلقة
مختارات من أعمال الأدباء الليبين الشباب !! Launch events were held in Cairo in May and Tripoli in July. An Islamic militia group, powerful in Zawiya in the absence of government forces,   arrested event organizer   Marwan Jbouda, according to PEN. It was co-published by   Arete Foundation for Arts and Culture, of which Mattawa is a founder, and Darf Publishers of London. Salil Tripathi, chair of PEN’s Writers in Prison Committee, wrote in a prepared statement:
“Through their actions and statements the Libyan authorities are undermining freedom of expression. The online ire against Sun on Closed Windows   has been primarily targeted at excerpts of   Kashan,   by novelist Ahmad al-Bokhari. But it wasn’t until an August 26 event at a public library in Zawiya, featuring several contributors, that problems arose. Advertisements

Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailPrintLinkedInRedditGoogleTumblrPinterestPocketLike this:Like Loading…‹ Sunday Submissions: Best Translated Book Awards 2018Categories: Libya The excerpts, of chapters five and six, have been characterized as immoral,   spreading obscenity, and some have even claimed it offers a pretext to Islamists   looking to crack down on literature. ما هذا ؟ pic.twitter.com/74Y2kBqO20
— المحمودي ? (@sofianalmahmodi) August 28, 2017

#شمس_على_نوافذ_مغلقة نصوص بألفاظ سوقية و أخطاء إملائية ، و يقال ان الكتاب مختارات من اعمال الادباء الليبيين.!! A number of users on twitter have written about the excerpt using   شمس_على_نوافذ_مغلقة#. “Fearing for their lives,” the PEN statement reads, “some are currently in hiding with their families.”
The collection was published late this spring, co-edited by acclaimed Libyan-American poet Khaled Mattawa and   Libyan journalist Laila Moghrabi. pic.twitter.com/iRSRKqdnTM
— H A N S T A R (@Hanod_alsugheer) August 28, 2017

The book was then retroactively censored and condemned by   Libyans authorities, stating its content was   against “public morality.”
However, as Mattawa has pointed out in a statement,   the passages in question were taken from a novel, Kashan, that was published in Libya, and thus reviewed by the Ministry before its printing in 2012.