Prison for a Poem?
December 10, 2012
On November 29, 2012, Qatari poet Muhammad al-Ajami was handed a life sentence for “insulting” the Emir, Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, and “inciting to overthrow the ruling system.” These claims came after a video was posted on the internet of Ajami reciting his poetic tribute to the Arab Spring, "Tunisian Jasmine."
Qatar, a major US ally in the Middle East, considers itself to be a defender of human rights. Deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, Joe Stork, said, “Qatar, after all its posturing as a supporter of freedom, turns out to be determined to keep its citizens quiet.”
Ajami’s lawyer has filed an appeal, and the case will be heard on December 30th. The Emir, however, has the power to pardon Ajami. Please take action for justice now!
Send a letter the Emir of Qatar: www.codepink.org/freepoet.
Call the Embassy at (202) 274-1600 (press 1 four times to leave a message with the ambassador's office).
CALLING ALL POETS: Submit a haiku and it will be read at a demo at the Embassy of Qatar (2555 M Street, NW Washington, DC) at noon on Wednesday, December 19. Share your haiku: www.codepink.org/haiku.
Act now- your voice can make a difference.
Solidarity,Alli, Jodie, Medea, Mobbie, Sam, Tighe, and the rest of the CODEPINK national staff