On Sunday, Bahraini authorities sentenced poet Ayat al-Qurmezi, detained since March, to one year in prison for inciting public hatred of the regime. This is one of the poems about the ruling family, posted by PEN International, that al-Qurmezi read in public:
You, the elder,
the "good man", who "safeguards justice"
(so you have always declared),
if I were to make excuses for you,
I, for you,
for the things you have done,
I would only look the fool,
for you would continue in your ways,
and murder us as "traitors".
Hear us all, for we all demand likewise -
both sects, all Bahrainis:
You must go.
Take His Majesty with you,
and leave your deeds behind.
from where do you derive your power,
the power to keep your people down? -
all your people,
Yet you call for "dialogue",
even in the midst of your brutality?
No! ... No! ...
One word: No!
Give us back our Bahrain.
Return this country to its people;
to us, its people.
Our Bahrain is ours.