Kuwaiti student's 2yr jail term upheld for insulting Emir on Twitter

Activist will serve term with no appeals left, while three other cases heard on Sunday remain ongoing

A two-year jail sentence has been upheld for a Kuwaiti online activist who wrote tweets deemed offensive to the Gulf state’s ruler, according to AFP.

The supreme court’s decision on Sunday coincided with the release of another activist who, in a separate case, has claimed hackers were responsible for comments posted on his Twitter account that offended Gulf state monarchies and expressed support of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Following the decision to uphold his jail sentence, Hejab Al Hajeri, a law student in his early 20s, said on his Twitter account his "determination is bigger than their jail".

He had been sentenced in April last year after the court deemed that comments he made on his Twitter social network account were critical of the emir, AFP said.

The activist, who has been out on bail, has no other avenues of appeal and must now serve the jail term.

Meanwhile, Hakim Al Mutairi claimed his Twitter account had been hacked and denied posting potentially incriminating comments, Kuwait Times reported.

He had been held in custody while authorities verified whether his account had been hacked but he was released on Sunday, as investigations continued.

Mutairi is the president of the Hezbol Ummah (Nation’s Party), an Islamic conservative political party that is not recognised in Kuwait, where political parties are banned.

Bedouin activist Abdullah Atta, who is being tried for offending the Emir and instigating civil disobedience, also was released from custody on Sunday.

In a fourth case, the appeals court also reportedly adjourned the trial of former MP Musallam Al Barrak, who is accused of offending the Emir during a public rally last week.

Kuwaiti courts have increasingly convicted and jailed opponents to the ruling family who publish Twitter comments that allegedly insult the Emir, who has pardoned a few of them. Many more are on trial facing similar charges.

Criticising the emir is illegal under the law and carries a jail term of up to five years.

Oil-rich Kuwait has been rocked by ongoing political disputes since mid-2006 that have stalled development despite abundant budget surpluses.

Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

NOTE: Comments posted on arabianbusiness.com may be printed in the magazine Arabian Business

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

  • No comments yet, be the first!

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
WEF has a plan, but it is up to the Middle East to make it happen

WEF has a plan, but it is up to the Middle East to make it happen

Organisation knows what the GCC has to do to meet the challenges...

Saudi shake-up strengthens king's powerful son

Saudi shake-up strengthens king's powerful son

Royal decrees saw a number of allies of Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed...

Filipino expats in Gulf look to hardman Duterte

Filipino expats in Gulf look to hardman Duterte

President on tour of region as more than a million Filipino workers...

Most Discussed