Palästinensischer Lyriker in Saudi-Arabien zum Tode verurteilt!

Das deutsche PEN-Zentrum unterstützt und wiederholt die Forderung des Internationalen PEN, des Englischen PEN und des amerikanischen PEN-Zentrums nach der sofortigen Freilassung des palästinensischen Lyrikers Ashraf Fayadh, der wegen seines angeblichen „Abfalls vom muslimischen Glauben“ in Saudi-Arabien zum Tode verurteilt wurde. Die Entscheidung der saudischen Justizbehörden muss umgehend zurückgenommen werden.

Ashraf Fayadh (rechts) mit Chris Dercon. (Quelle: Ashraf Fayadh/Instagram)

Ashraf Fayadh (rechts) mit Chris Dercon. (Quelle: Ashraf Fayadh/Instagram)

Der PEN ist entsetzt über die Nachricht, dass Ashraf Fayadh, Dichter und Mitglied der britisch-saudischen Kunstorganisation „Edge of Arabia“, zum Tode verurteilt wurde. Berichten zufolge wurde Ashraf Fayadh in einem Wiederaufnahmeverfahren nun zum Tode verurteilt, nachdem zunächst im Mai 2014 eine Strafe von vier Jahren Gefängnis und 800 Peitschenhieben verhängt worden war.

Erstmals war Fayadh im August 2013 verhaftet worden im Zusammenhang mit seiner Gedichtsammlung Instructions Within. Er wurde auf Kaution freigelassen, aber im Januar 2014 erneut verhaftet. Man warf ihm „Atheismus und Verbreitung von zerstörerischem Gedankengut in der Gesellschaft“ vor, im Mai 2014 wurde er dann verurteilt. Die Ablehnung seines Berufungsantrags führte letztlich zu dem Wiederaufnahmeverfahren, das vor rund einer Woche abgeschlossen wurde. Wie der Guardian berichtet, ist Fayadh „absolut schockiert“ über dieStrafe. Er sagte: „Ich habe nichts getan, das den Tod verdient.

Hier lesen Sie einige Stellungnahmen (in englischer Sprache)

Jo Glanville, Director of English PEN, said:

‘We are shocked by the news that a Saudi court has ordered the execution of poet Ashraf Fayadh. This is yet another example of the Kingdom’s complete lack of respect for freedom of expression and its persecution of free thinkers. We call on the Saudi authorities to release him immediately and unconditionally, and urge our own government to speak out on his behalf as a matter of urgency.’

Salil Tripathi, Chair of PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee, said:

‘The decision to sentence Ashraf Fayadh to death is outrageous not only because it is vastly disproportionate to anything he may have done, not only because the death penalty is wrong in every instance, and not only because he has said in mitigation that he has done nothing that deserves death, but also because it is not a crime to hold an idea, however unpopular, nor is it a crime to express opinion peacefully. Saudi Arabia must unconditionally release Fayadh, as well as Raif Badawi and Waleed Abulkhair.’

Karin Deutsch Karlekar, Director of Free Expression programs, PEN American Center, said

‘We are outraged that Fayadh’s retrial—which should have led to the absurd charges against him being dropped entirely—has instead resulted in a death sentence. We call on the Saudi authorities to cease handing down such draconian sentences for the supposed ‘crime’ of free expression, and to release those already convicted on similar grounds.’

PEN urges the Saudi authorities to desist from punishing individuals for the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of expression. Other cases of particular concern to PEN include the liberal blogger Raif Badawi, winner of the 2015 PEN Pinter Prize for an International Writer of Courage, and his lawyer and brother-in-law Waleed Abulkhair. Badawi has been sentenced to ten years in prison and 1000 lashes, while Abulkhair is serving a 15-year prison sentence. English PEN continues to hold regular vigils for Badawi and Abulkhair outside the Saudi Embassy in London; we are also asking members of the public to pledge to protest in the event that Badawi is flogged again. ‚.((strlen(‚http://www.englishpen.org/campaigns/pledge-to-protest-for-raif-badawi/‘)>40) ? substr(‚http://www.englishpen.org/campaigns/pledge-to-protest-for-raif-badawi/‘,0,40).’…‘ : ‚http://www.englishpen.org/campaigns/pledge-to-protest-for-raif-badawi/‘).‘

We are also calling on the British government to put pressure on the Saudi authorities to release Fayadh, Badawi, Abulkhair and others detained in violation of their right to freedom of expression. Just last month, David Cameron claimed he ‘completely disagreed with [the Saudi authorities] about their punishment routines, about the death penalty, about all those issues’. We therefore urge the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond to raise Fayadh’s case at the earliest opportunity with the Saudi authorities and to call for his immediate release, as they successfully did in the case of Brit Karl Andree last month. ‚.((strlen(‚http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/oct/06/david-cameron-insists-uk-ties-saudi-arabia‘)>40) ? substr(‚http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/oct/06/david-cameron-insists-uk-ties-saudi-arabia‘,0,40).’…‘ : ‚http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/oct/06/david-cameron-insists-uk-ties-saudi-arabia‘).‘

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