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The Boston Globe

World

Lawyer: Qatari poet gets life for ‘insulting’ emir

DOHA, Qatar — A Qatari poet was sentenced Thursday to life in prison for an Arab Spring-inspired verse that officials claim insulted Qatar’s emir and encouraged the overthrow of the nation’s ruling system, his defense attorney said.

The verdict in a state security court is certain to bring a fresh outpouring of denunciations by rights groups, which have repeatedly called for the release of poet Muhammad ibn al-Dheeb al-Ajami. It also marks another example of tough measures by judicial and security officials in the Gulf against possible challenges to their rule since the Arab Spring revolts began.

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