Qatar: Sentencing the Poet Ibn El-Zeeb is a Persistent in Politicizing his Case

Cairo February 26, 2013

The Arabic Network for Human Right Information (ANHRI), denounces the decision issued from the Qatari court of appeal, which sentence the poet “Mohamed ben El-Zieb El-Ajmay” for 15 years on the back ground of a poem criticized some close people to the prince of Qatar on Youtube.

The National State Security Court has sentenced him, in hearing held on November 29, 2012, for a life imprisonment against the poet “Ben El-Zieb” on charges of inciting to overthrow the regime and insulting the Emir of Qatar and the Crown Prince.

The Qatari security forces have arrested the poet on the back ground of a critic poem to the Arab regimes, including Qatar and in November 2011 the prosecutor charged him with inciting to overthrow the regime and the case witnessed several legal violations, including:

1 – The Prosecution violated article no. 117 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which prohibits the temporary imprisonment of any defendant for more than six months, as he remained in the prison for more than 6 months before appearing before the court.

2 – Arresting him the solitary confinement, although his case doesn’t requrie his imprisonment and he could have been released on bail and continue to investigate him (as the incident doesn’t have security or private rights dimensions).

3 – Not allowing him to change the judge (a right guaranteed to him, especially after his lawyer declared the legal grounds supporting the request which stipulates that the judge of the investigation may not be the judge of the subject from the legal aspect, which contradicts with article no. 214 of the Code of Judicial Procedure, which provides that “the judge abstained from participating in reviewing the case, if the crime occurred on him directly or if he was involved any of the judicial arrest or an act of investigation or referral or accusation or defense or whatsoever”. This applies to this case, as the investigation judge is the judge assigned to deliver the sentence which was refused by him and his lawyer “Naimi”). The Court of appeal rejected the request for recusal and sentenced to fine him for 2000QR.

4 – Restrictions on citizens, independent media and human rights organizations to attend court hearings.

5 – Lack of the pillars of justice which represented in having a public trial according to article no. 187 of the Code of Judicial Procedure, which provides “the hearing must be public unless the law or the Court held its own or at the request of one of the litigants to make it held in camera or to maintain the public order or public deciency or the sanctity of the family, etc”.

6 – His lawyer was dismissed by the prosecution, which is a against all the international norms.

ANHRI said that “the sentence issued by the court of appeal of imprisonment against the poet is a harsh decision and a persistence to politicize the trial in addition to the sentence that violate all the international norms and treaties, signed by them. It is also setback in the field of the freedom of expression; how could a regime respects a freedom of expression or to punish him for his opinion due to his harsh penalty”.

ANHRI added that “the sentence issued by the court of appeal isn’t different much of the security of state of the court, which deemed to be a harsh sentence on the background of using elastic charges represents in the overthrow of the regime and insult the prince of Qatar, as such charges used by the repressive and dictatorship regimes to silence the oppositions and the critics to the regime”.

ANHRI demands the immediate release of the poet, in addition to dropping all the false charges pressed on him to send him to jail and silence his voice in addition to intimidate whoever oppose the regime.

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