Ashraf Fayad è un poeta di 35 anni, imprigionato e condannato a morte in Arabia Saudita perché la libertà di espressione si paga molto cara in tanta parte del mondo. Oggi la notizia che la condanna è stata commutata in 8 anni di prigione e 800 frustate in 16 sessioni (50 alla volta). E il divieto assoluto di pubblicare i suoi versi e di leggerli. Da oggi, ogni giorno, io pubblicherò alcuni versi di Ashraf tratti da “Le istruzioni sono all’interno”(2007) ancora inedito, ma tradotto in italiano.
Ashraf Fayadh is a Palestinian poet and artist who was sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia, where he was born and resides, on 17 November 2015 . The General Court in Abha, southwest Saudi Arabia, found him guilty of apostasy after an appeal court overturned the original sentence of four years in prison and 800 lashes for violating Article 6 of Saudi Arabia’s Anti-Cyber Crime Law.
Ashraf Fayadh was first arrested on 6 August 2013 following a complaint by a Saudi Arabian citizen alleging that the poet was promoting atheism and spreading blasphemous ideas among young people. He was released the next day, but was rearrested on 1 January 2014 and charged with apostasy because of his supposed questioning of religion and spreading atheist thought through his poetry. He was also charged with violating Article 6 of the country’s Anti-Cyber Crime Law by taking and storing photos of women on his phone.
On 30 April 2014, the court sentenced Ashraf Fayadh to four years in prison and 800 lashes for the charges relating to images of women on his phone. It found the poet’s repentance in relation to the charge of apostasy to be satisfactory. The court of appeal, however, recommended that he should nevertheless be sentenced for apostasy and sent the case back to the General Court, which in turn sentenced him to death for apostasy.
Ashraf Fayadh was denied access to a lawyer throughout his detention and trial, in clear violation of international and national law.