Kuwait sentences second man to jail for insulting emir

By REUTERS
January 7, 2013 16:22

DUBAI - A Kuwaiti court sentenced a man to two years in prison on Monday for insulting the country's ruler on Twitter, his lawyer said, the second to be jailed for the offense in as many days.

The US-allied Gulf Arab state has clamped down in recent months on political activists who have been using social media websites to criticize the government and the ruling family.

Kuwait has seen a series of protests, including one on Sunday night, organized by the opposition since the ruling emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, used emergency powers in October to change the voting system.

The court sentenced Ayyad al-Harbi, who has more than 13,000 followers on Twitter, to the prison term two months after his arrest and release on bail. His lawyer, Mohammed al-Humidi, said Harbi would appeal against the verdict.

On Sunday, Rashid Saleh al-Anzi was given two years in prison over a tweet that "stabbed the rights and powers of the emir," according to the online newspaper Alaan. Anzi, who has 5,700 Twitter followers, was expected to appeal.


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