Rapport 2013
La situation des droits humains dans le monde

29 novembre 2012

Qatar: Outrageous life sentence for ‘Jasmine poet’

Qatar: Outrageous life sentence for ‘Jasmine poet’
'Insulting the Amir' (pictured) was one of the charges faced

'Insulting the Amir' (pictured) was one of the charges faced

© Abed Rahim Khatib / Demotix


It is deplorable that Qatar, which likes to paint itself internationally as a country that promotes freedom of expression, is indulging in what appears to be such a flagrant abuse of that right.
Source: 
Phillip Luther, Amnesty International's Director for the Middle East and North Africa
Date: 
Je, 29/11/2012

A life sentence handed today to a Qatari poet has all the hallmarks of an outrageous betrayal of free speech, Amnesty International has said. 

Mohammed al-Ajami, also known as Mohammed Ibn al-Dheeb, was tried on charges of incitement “to overthrow the ruling system”, and “insulting the Amir”.  

He was arrested in November 2011 following the publication of his “Jasmine Poem”, which broadly criticized governments across the Gulf region, saying “we are all Tunisia in the face of the repressive elite”. 

“It is deplorable that Qatar, which likes to paint itself internationally as a country that promotes freedom of expression, is indulging in what appears to be such a flagrant abuse of that right,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Director.

A copy of the verdict obtained by Amnesty International makes no reference to the reasons for such a harsh sentence, but the organization understands that the charges on which he was convicted were based on the content of his poetry.

“All the information available points to Mohammed al-Ajami being a prisoner of conscience who has been placed behind bars solely for his words. Accordingly, he should be released immediately and his conviction quashed,” said Philip Luther.

The verdict has sent out shock waves among activists in Qatar and the Gulf region, who have told Amnesty International that the sentence feels like a threat to them all. 

One activist commented that al-Ajami’s trial was a “trial of the Arab Spring” and a warning against its spread to the Gulf. 

“We expected better from Qatar,” said the activist, referring to the country’s talk of parliamentary elections and freedom of expression. 

Qatar is the headquarters of media organization Al-Jazeera, which has won plaudits for its reports on uprisings throughout the region in the last two years. However, Qatar has strictly controlled press freedoms and freedom of expression with regard to criticism of its own government.

Observers were not allowed to enter the court, and al-Ajami himself was not present at the sentencing.  He is expected to appeal.

Thème

Liberté d'expression 
Prisonniers d'opinion 

Pays

Qatar 

Région ou pays

Moyen-Orient et Afrique du Nord 

@amnestyonline sur Twitter

Nouvelles

15 septembre 2014

La nouvelle mission de maintien de la paix des Nations unies en République centrafricaine doit être déployée de toute urgence dans son intégralité pour être en mesure d’assurer... Pour en savoir plus »

04 septembre 2014

Depuis plusieurs années, Amnesty International enquête et recueille des éléments de preuve sur la torture au Mexique. Voici quelques-uns des faits les plus troublants. 

Pour en savoir plus »
11 août 2014

Les familles de milliers de civils afghans tués par les forces américaines et de l’OTAN en Afghanistan ont été privées de justice, écrit Amnesty International dans un nouveau... Pour en savoir plus »

02 septembre 2014

Les poursuites engagées par les autorités turques contre des personnes les ayant critiquées sur Twitter mettent en évidence la profonde hypocrisie du pays hôte du Forum sur la... Pour en savoir plus »

03 septembre 2014

La décapitation du journaliste américain Steven Sotloff par des militants de l’État islamique est le dernier en date d’une série de crimes de guerre perpétrés par le groupe... Pour en savoir plus »