QATAR SENTENCES POET TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR COMMITTING POETRY
By William Boardman
Life in prison may seem a harsh sentence for reciting a poem out loud, but it’s apparently what state security demands in Doha, Qatar, where a secret court delivered this sentence at the end of a short, secret trial in a state security case tried there in November.
Muhammed ibn al-Dheeb al-Ajami, 37, a Qatari poet with a wife and child, was studying literature at Cairo University when the Tunisian revolution broke out in December 2010. Inspired by events in Tunisia and Egypt, al-Ajami wrote a short poem, “Tunisian Jasmine” [see below], celebrating the overthrow of repressive elites. He recited the poem to private audiences and the audio of at least one such performance appeared on YouTube, but al-Ajami says he didn’t post it, and doesn’t know who did.
Qatari authorities took notice of the performance and, some months later, in November 2011, they arrested al-Ajami and held him in solitary confinement for most of a year before bringing him to trial. There is no allegation that he was otherwise tortured. The state charged the poet with “insulting” Qatar’s ruling emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, as well as “inciting to overthrow the ruling system,” an offense that carries the death penalty.
The Hidden History of the JFK Assassination
“While We Were Sleeping”
Orwell Rolls In His Grave, featuring MCM – Buy the DVD
About News From Underground
News From Underground is a daily e-news service run by Mark Crispin Miller, a Professor of Culture and Communication at NYU. It is based on his belief that academics, like reporters, have a civic obligation to help keep the people well-informed, so that American democracy might finally work.
If you'd like to receive updates delivered to your inbox daily, sign up for News From Underground Alerts:
Help News From Underground!
Message from Mark: "I am a one-man operation, although assisted greatly by some volunteers, and, now and then, by people paid by others for one-time projects. There is no shortage of skilled, dedicated folks out there who want to help me. There is, however, nothing I can pay them with, unless you decide you can contribute something."
Please donate via the PayPal button above or via PayPal by email to: email@example.com
- Those robo-cops in Ferguson—and not just there—are out to kill the poor (MUST-READ by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar)
- Detroit protesters win a moratorium on water shutoff, call for probe of vast corruption
- Another view of why the CDC owns that patent on Ebola
- Russians offer evidence of Kiev’s trigger hand in MH17 downing
- Why are all those trolls out there? NYTimes’ Fahrad Manjoo blames “incivility”—not the state or corporations
- best toddler booster car seat on Election fraud or “voter fraud”? Jonathan Simon wipes the floor with vote-blocker Hans von Spakovsky
- blaze doric on Calling Russia “the aggressor,” US is the one that wants a war
- Bestblurayplayerreviews2014.com on Why is Disney sucking up to the far right?
- Jonelle on Did Romney cheat as well as lie?
- Working Hay Day Hacks on Big Pharma’s faking a “grass-roots” campaign to keep Jenny McCarthy off “The View”
- Don't buy these products from Koch Industries!
- Russians offer evidence of Kiev's trigger hand in MH17 downing
- Forbidden Bookshelf
- "The Laramie Project" is a potent propaganda fantasy about the life and death of Matthew Shepard
- Without net neutrality, we wouldn't know what's happening in Ferguson...
- Veterans for Common Sense
- The International Human Press
- Election Defense Alliance
- Cody Lyon
- Richard Charnin
- Words of Power
- Media Channel
- Writers Voice
- William Betz
- t r u t h o u t
- The Ostroy Report
- Citizens for Legitimate Government
- Talking Points Memo
- alias Bruce
- Barry Gordon
- Suburban Guerrilla
- Online Journal
- Democratic Undergroud
Need a bigger font size?
- Your link could be here too, contact us for pricing details.