On the commencement of the 30th session of the Human Rights Council, Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB), along with 14 international NGOs, sent a letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, the Special Rapporteur in the Field of Cultural Rights, the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, and the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention asking that they follow up on the case of the imprisoned Qatari poet Mohammed al-Ajami.
Al-Ajami is a prisoner of conscience currently serving a 15-year prison sentence in Qatar for “inciting to overthrow the ruling system” through his poetry. He has exhausted all legal avenues to freedom in Qatar and will serve out the remainder of his sentence barring a pardon from the Emir. The UN’s special procedures have engaged on al-Ajami’s case in the past, but they have not addressed his continued imprisonment since Qatar’s highest court upheld al-Ajami’s 15-year prison sentence in October 2013. The signatories therefore request that the UNSRs continue to engage with his case and insist that Qatar take corrective action to remedy the human rights violations that have been committed against him.
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