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.
“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: firstname.lastname@example.org
- USA is a “world leader” in child poverty
- YouTube link for that video of the Texan freedom fighter
- Why NYU law students have no confidence in Harold Koh (It isn’t just the drones…)
- FBI charged with “whitewash” of Saudi link to 9/11
- “The Abuse of Satire”: Garry Trudeau nails the Charlie Hebdo craze
- FBI charged with “whitewash” of Saudi link to 9/11 on
- TEPCO slammed for year-long cover-up of latest radioactive leak on
- If Jeb Bush steals the White House, he’ll cut Medicaid, raise the retirement age, means test Social Security, and…. on
- Don Siegelman won’t be released from prison (WHY won’t Obama pardon him?) on
- Democrats won’t say a word about high-flying pedophile (and FOB) Jeffrey Epstein—and neither will Republicans! (How come?) on
- For their Statement of No Confidence in drone war consigliere Harold Koh, NYU law students feel the heat from their professors
- Don't buy these products from Koch Industries!
- Why NYU law students have no confidence in Harold Koh (It isn't just the drones...)
- Forbidden Bookshelf
- The strange death of Nancy Schaefer (two items)
- alias Bruce
- Talking Points Memo
- Media Channel
- Evil GOP Bastards
- Early America
- Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting
- Media Matters
- Words of Power
- Writers Voice
- t r u t h o u t
- Veterans for Common Sense
- Thom Hartmann
- Mainstream Baptist
- Online Journal
- Richard Charnin
- Democratic Undergroud
- Election Defense Alliance
- Citizens for Legitimate Government
- Suburban Guerrilla
Need a bigger font size?
- Your link could be here too, contact us for pricing details.