Qatar: 15 years to poet over verses considered subversive

Sentence reduced after appeal in Al Ajami after life sentence

25 February, 14:49

(ANSAmed) - DOHA, FEBRUARY 25 - An appeals court in Doha sentenced Qatari poet Muhammad al-Ajami to 15 years in jail, cutting down a life sentence previously issued by magistrates over poetry considered hostile to Qatar's regime, pan Arab satellite channel Al Jazeera reported on Monday.

Al-Ajami's attorney said no motivation was given for the verdict and announced he will file an appeal with Qatar's Supreme Court, the country's highest appeals court, in three weeks.

The 36-year-old poet was arrested for a poem called 'jasmine' in which he stated that 'we are all Tunisia in front of a repressive elite'. Al-Ajami was found guilty on charges that he had incited the revolt against Qatar's emir.

International human rights organizations condemned first the poet's arrest and then the sentence. Amnesty International had slammed the first life sentence in 2012 as an outrageous violation of the freedom of expression. (ANSAmed)

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