Qatari Man Gets Life in Prison for Poetry Critical of Emir
Today, a court in Qatar sentenced Mohamed ibn al-Dheeb al-Ajami to life in prison, probably for his “Jasmine Poem.”
The charges, according to Reuters (via al-Ajami’s lawyer), were “incitement to overthrow the government and criticising the ruling emir.” Doha Newssaid it remained unclear what al-Ajami was convicted of, but:
Gregg Carlstrom @glcarlstrom: Confirmed to me by lawyer for Qatari poet Mohamed al-Ajami: sentenced to life today for charges reportedly including “insulting the emir.”
Amnesty International said in October that “The prosecution’s case against him is reportedly based on a poem he wrote in 2010 criticising Qatar’s emir,” but it’s widely believed that the real reason is al-Ajami’s “Jasmine Poem,” which declares that “we are all Tunisia in the face of the repressive” regimes.
According to Amnesty, Al-Ajami has one week to submit his appeal.