Palestinian Writer Sentenced to Death in Saudi for Poems that ‘Threaten Saudi Morality’

Arabic Literature (in English)

Palestinian poet Ashraf Fayadh, who has been in jail in Saudi for nearly two years for spreading atheism, insulting the Godly self, and having ideas that threaten Saudi society, has now been sentenced to death:

Fayadh was jailed in January 2014, charged based on a complaint from a reader about Fayadh’s 2008 poetry collection, Instructions Within. Fayadh told The Guardian the complaint arose from a personal dispute with another artist during a discussion about contemporary art in a cafe in Abha.

It was Tuesday when a Saudi court on Tuesday ordered Fayadh’s execution. The poet has also curated art shows in Jeddah and at the Venice Biennale. According to The Guardian, Fayadh does not have legal representation, and has just 30 days to appeal against the ruling.

Fayadh is a leading member of the British-Saudi art organisation Edge of Arabia. The Guardian writes that he was originally sentenced to four years in prison and 800 lashes by…

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About Taline Voskeritchian

Writing teacher at Boston University; translator (from Arabic and Armenian); prose writer; occasional editor; incurable wanderer.
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