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Free Speech in Qatar: "You Can't Talk Everythings"

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   "You Can't Talk Everythings" 

He also noted that Al Jazeera and other Qatari news organizations hadn't covered the story, that he'd seen it only on the BBC.  Referring to Qatari law under which media and poet all function, he explained that the law allowed freedom of opinion and expression, but -- "You can't talk everythings." 

On December 10, which was International Human Rights Day 2012, in Qatar the Doha Centre for Media Freedom broke its silence on the al-Ajami case.  Speaking at an event sponsored by Al Jazeera English, the center's director ducked specific comment on the case, but went on to say

"Prominent international human rights organisations and the international media reported extensively on this case but the Qatari media remained silent. Including until now, I must admit, the Doha Centre for Media Freedom. But today is the day, I feel, to speak out and to break the barriers of fear.

"We still don't know all the details about this particular case, but we feel local media failed their mission and should be able to inform the general public in this country. To inform and be informed: it is simply a question of basic human rights."    

   U.S. Commemorates Human Rights Day with Inaction

Also on December 10, the United States joined in commemorating the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the United Nations in 1948.  Discussing human rights in a recent speech, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that free societies have two responsibilities toward peoples in nations with repressive governments: 

"First, to remain vigilant in ensuring that we honor and implement our own commitment to human rights at home, and second, to help others gain what we have, the chance to live in dignity."

When the media-dubbed Arab Spring began two years ago in Tunisia, western media called the uprising the "Jasmine Revolution," after the Tunisian national flower, but Tunisians referred to it as the Dignity Revolution.

The poem that led to such trouble for al-Ajami, as translated on DemocracyNOW!, is variously called

"Tunisian Jasmine" or "Jasmine Poem" 

Knowing that those that satisfy themselves and upset their people

tomorrow will have someone else sitting in their seat,

knowing that those that satisfy themselves and upset their people

tomorrow will have someone else sitting in their seat,

for those that think the country is in your and your kids' names,

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Vermonter living in Woodstock: elected to five terms (served 20 years) as side judge (sitting in Superior, Family, and Small Claims Courts); public radio producer, "The Panther Program" -- nationally distributed, three albums (at CD Baby), some (more...)

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This is an outrage.  Now you know why our Fou... by Laurence Almand on Wednesday, Dec 12, 2012 at 5:39:31 PM
Clearly outrageous, but Guantanamo makes clea... by William Boardman on Wednesday, Dec 12, 2012 at 7:24:05 PM