Life in Prison for a Poem

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I learned today of the recent life sentence handed down to Qatari poet, Mohamed Ibn Al Ajami for reading a poem extolling the courage and values of the popular uprisings in Tunisia. The sentencing took place after Ajami was jailed in November last year and spent one year in solitary confinement. As an advocate for free speech, I urge you all to speak up! Human Rights Organisation, Roots Action have started a petition to free Ajami and in their words, allow him to follow in

the footsteps of such great poets as Pablo Neruda, Majakovski, Nazim Hikmet, Mahmoud Darwish, Faraj Bayraqdar and innumerable others throughout the world today, such as Colombia’s poet Angye Gaona, Mohamed Ibn Al Ajami placed his poetic talent to the service of a movement for change.

Here’s an excerpt from the poem he recited:

Oh revolutionary, sing the praises of the struggle with the blood of the people
in the soul of the free carve the values of revolt
and to those holding the shroud of the dead tell
that every victory also bears its ordeals.

To sign the petition and be a voice for change visit Roots Action and please spread the word to other like minded people.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Life in Prison for a Poem

  1. I support the release of everyone who just dare to speak up.
    Yet I must confess I am not all too happy about revolutions in general. It is good oppressed people are coming up to throw away the suppressors and to try to bring some kind of democracy and self ability to determine the way of their lives, it is just the violence and lose of law are not comforting aspect of all that.
    But perhaps it is too complicated for a short feedback.

    • gnunn

      I agree D, there is no easy way to tackle the enormity of this issue… violence is never okay, never, and it is not something I support at all, but like you, I wholeheartedly believe in the action of poems and the power of words. Thanks as always for your wisdom, G

  2. Signed. May the words continue in the face of all struggles.

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