Journalists and artists in Jordan have rallied around poet Islam Samhan who was indicted for the crime of incorporating verses of the Holy Koran into his poetry about love. This followed a fatwa issued by the country’s mufti who declared him an infidel and his poetry to be blasphemy.
Samhan, 27, was indicted for his first collection of poems, entitled “Grace Like a Shadow”.
He now faces up to three years in prison and a fine, even thought the language was “metaphoric.” Journalists are particularly worried about the apparent connection between the fatwa and the indictment.
Press freedom and freedom of speech are protected by international law. The fact that such a gross violation can occur in a more modern nation in the region is alarming.
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