KUWAIT - A Kuwaiti court sentenced a local Sunni Muslim writer to seven years in jail and ordered that he pay nearly $18,000 in compensation after ruling that he had insulted the Gulf state's Shi'ite Muslim minority on Twitter.
The court said Kuwaiti Mohammad al-Mulaifi posted falsehoods about sectarian divisions in the Gulf Arab country and insulted the Shi'ite faith and its scholars with comments that damaged Kuwait's image.
He was arrested in February and his comments triggered protests by Shi'ites, according to Kuwaiti media. His lawyer was not immediately available for comment.
Twitter is very popular in Kuwait, where many public figures use the site to debate current events, swap gossip and share news. But the public messaging site has landed several users in trouble with Kuwaiti authorities.
Police arrested a Kuwaiti Shi'ite last month, accusing him of insulting the Prophet Mohammad on his Twitter account. He denied this, saying his account was hacked, according to his lawyer.