Dubai: Qatar’s Court of Appeals on Sunday postponed to February 25 the trial of a local poet sentenced to life in prison, Kuwaiti news site Al Aan has reported.
Mohammad Al Ajami, also known as Mohammad Ibn Al Dheeb, was handed the sentence in November after the state security court found him guilty of “inciting to overthrow the ruling system” and “insulting the emir” in a poem he allegedly recited in Cairo.
Qatar said that the sentence was not an abuse of freedom of speech, but action against an illegal call to overthrow political regimes, a violation of the local law.
The case has received wide international attention as Qatar has assumed a large role on the global scene after it won the distinction of becoming the first Arab and Muslim country to host the football World Cup finals in 2022. It was also selected to host the handball World Cup finals in 2015.
The country has also been getting special mentions for its role in promoting change in several Arab countries, especially Tunisia, Egypt and Libya and for its leading drive for political changes in Syria.
The poet is represented by Najeeb Al Nuaimi, a distinguished lawyer who was at one time a justice minister in the Qatari government.