Kuwait arrests UK-based national for sarcastic online postings

March 31, 2016 23:33


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Kuwait's Interior Ministry has arrested a Kuwaiti man who had lived in Britain and charged him with publishing "offensive videos and sarcastic comments" about Gulf leaders on social media, the state news agency KUNA said on Thursday.

KUNA, quoting an Interior Ministry statement, said Salem Abdullah Ashtil Dossari had failed to respect Kuwait's customs and traditions in the words he used to describe leaders in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

It said he was born in 1975 and had been residing in Britain but it gave no date for when he returned to Kuwait.

The ministry also accused him of openly inciting rebellion and sowing sectarian contempt, without elaborating on the content of his postings.

While Kuwait allows more freedom of speech than some other Gulf Arab states, the government has said it would strike hard against dissent.

In June it sentenced a prominent female human rights activist to three years in jail on charges of insulting the country's ruler, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah.

The Western-allied country avoided serious unrest during the 2011 Arab uprisings but citizens held large street protests in 2012 over changes to the electoral law.

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