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.”

A court document, apparently with al-Ajami’s life sentence, being circulated online.

The charges, according to Reuters (via al-Ajami’s lawyer), were “incitement to overthrow the government and criticising the ruling emir.” Doha News said it remained unclear what al-Ajami was convicted of, but:

Gregg Carlstrom ‏@glcarlstromConfirmed 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.


  1. Hi, has anybody translated this poem into English? I can imagine that the case of this poet would be more known then in English speaking countries.

    1. Angelica, I have asked around, and I haven’t turned up anyone who has done / is working on a translation. I think the radio program “The World” was looking for one as well.

      1. Thank you very much for replieing. Yes, it is sad that his case cannot be promoted through that poem. When you know more, I would be very happy to know more too.

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