Friday, November 30, 2012

Qatar: Outrageous life sentence for ‘Jasmine poet’

"A life sentence handed today to a Qatari poet has all the hallmarks of an outrageous betrayal of free speech, Amnesty International has said.

Mohammed al-Ajami, also known as Mohammed Ibn al-Dheeb, was tried on charges of incitement “to overthrow the ruling system”, and “insulting the Amir”.  

He was arrested in November 2011 following the publication of his “Jasmine Poem”, which broadly criticized governments across the Gulf region, saying “we are all Tunisia in the face of the repressive elite”. 

“It is deplorable that Qatar, which likes to paint itself internationally as a country that promotes freedom of expression, is indulging in what appears to be such a flagrant abuse of that right,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Director......"

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