As part of the International Call to Action by the World Poetry Movement, and the Revolutionary Poets Brigade, the poets of Los Angeles stand in solidarity to protest the death sentence placed upon Palestinian poet Ashraf Fayadh, by Saudi Arabia and call upon the Saudi government for his immediate release.
     Fayadh is sentenced to death after being jailed for more than 22 months in Abha without clear legal charges beyond insulting the Godly self and having ideas that do not suit Saudi society. These charges are based on the complaint of a reader’s interpretation of Fayadh’s 2008 poetry collection Instructions Within. This isn’t the first time Saudi authorities have arrested Fayadh. The poet was detained after a Saudi filed a complaint with the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice accusing him of having misguided and misguiding thoughts. Fayadh was bailed out, only to get arrested again. He has been denied visitation and legal representation. We condemn these acts of intimidation as part of a wider campaign inciting hate against writers and using Islam to justify oppression and crush free speech. We express our solidarity with Fayadh, hoping to increase pressure to release him. We call on Saudi intellectuals to express solidarity with Fayadh against Takfiris intimidation practices meant to silence poets, writers, and artists. Let the flag of creativity fly free.  Remaining silent towards Fayadh’s detention is an insult to knowledge, literature, culture, and thought as well as to freedom and human rights.
ASYLUM by Ashraf Fayadh
Asylum: To stand at the end of a queue.
To be given a morsel of bread.
To stand!: Something your grandfather used to do.
Without knowing the reason why.
The Morsel?: You.
The homeland: A card to put in your wallet.
Money: Papers that carry images of Leaders.
The Photo: Your substitution pending your return.
And the Return: A mythological creature from your grandmotherís tales.
End of the first lesson.
*Translated by Sultan Sooud al-Qassemi from Asylum in Instructions Within

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