Here a short note of support from another poet, and board member of PEN Belgium Dutch Speaking, responsible for our Writers in Prison Committee. I want to let you know that next wednesday, we will have our second event on your behalf. The previous one we held last December, when we (PEN Belgium Dutch Speaking & Hart Boven Hard) organized a literary outdoor sit-in in the Port of Antwerp to protest your condemnation and to ask public attention for your case. This event followed a petition we initiated. This petition got signed by thousands of people, mostly from within the cultural field. With this petition we went to our Minister of Foreign Affairs to ask him what he could do for your case.
Next Wednesday, on the 16th of November, we (PEN Belgium + BOZAR + Hart Boven Hard) will have a literary event on your behalf in Bozar, an important cultural center in our capital. We hope to attract a big audience there: more info about this event: http://www.bozar.be/en/activities/119657-free-ashraf
We (PEN Belgium) also initiated the idea to look for 16 poets who would each write a poem of 50 words to support you. This resulted in a small book of poems (by more than 16 poets) that will come out next Wednesday. It is titled: (more than) 16 times 50 words for Ashraf.
My friend, I sincerely hope that you will soon be released from prison. So that maybe one day we could shake hands and talk about life and poetry.
Keep up the spirit, poet!
Sven Cooremans – PEN Belgium Dutch Speaking