Target: Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Ruler of Qatar
Goal: Praise the royal court for releasing a poet imprisoned for reciting an offensive poem.
A poet was released from prison after serving four years of an unjust sentence. This is thanks, in part, to a ForceChange petition. Mohammed ibn al-Dheeb al-Ajami was imprisoned for reciting a poem said to insult Qatar’s former emir. Praise the royal court for their decision to pardon this innocent man.
Ajami recited a poem to a group of people in his apartment building. The performance was filmed and broadcasted over YouTube, beginning this unjust manhunt. The controversial poem was said to be critical of the government and insulting to the emir. He was charged with “publicly inciting to overthrow the ruling system” and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Amnesty International campaigned for Ajami’s release on the grounds that his poetry was a form of peaceful self-expression. However, it is currently unclear why the court agreed to the release. Praise the Sheikh for freeing this poet and protecting the freedom of speech.
Dear Sheikh Tamim,
We would like to thank you for releasing Mohammed ibn al-Dheeb al-Ajami from prison. Your decision to pardon him shows that freedom of expression is important and should never be punished.
Ajami’s poem, “Jasmine Poem,” offended the previous emir and resulted in his imprisonment. He was sentenced to 15 years. Your pardon has allowed him to be released after serving only four of those years and given him his life back.
Your recognition of this unjust sentence will show the world that Qatar is a fair nation that supports freedom of expression. Thank you for your attention to this injustice.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: englishpen1921