Qatar poet remains in prison for 'offensive' verse

A poet jailed for a verse considered offensive to Qatar's ruler harshly denounced the Gulf nation's legal proceedings on Monday after an appeals court reduced his life sentence but still kept a 15-year prison term.


The rant in court - rare in the tightly controlled Gulf Arab states - underscored the free speech battles across the region as Western-backed authorities take strict measures against perceived political dissident in the wake of the Arab Spring. (AP)