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Fri 4 May 2012 03:35 PM

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Kuwait close to death penalty law for blasphemy

Plan follows blasphemy Twitter case which caused uproar in Gulf state

Kuwait close to death penalty law for blasphemy

Kuwaiti lawmakers endorsed a legal amendment on Thursday which could make insulting God and the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) by Muslims punishable by death, in a second reading that brings the proposal a step closer to passing.

The plan still needs approval by Kuwait's ruler before it becomes law and follows a high-profile case of suspected blasphemy on Twitter which caused an uproar in the Gulf state.

The draft now includes a new clause which will mean the death penalty will only be applied if the person stands by their actions when questioned by a judge.

This would give defendants the opportunity to repent and face a prison term or a fine instead.

The amendment, which would apply the death penalty only for Muslims, was backed by 40 members of parliament, while six opposed it - slightly more than in the previous reading.

Around 85 percent of Kuwait's inhabitants are thought to be Muslim. Expatriate Christians and Hindus are the next largest groups.

Blasphemy is illegal under Kuwait's publications law and under the penal code as slander or libel. At present it carries a jail term, the length of which depends on the severity of the comments and their perceived effect on society, lawyers say.

Islamist MPs proposed toughening the law in March after authorities arrested a Kuwaiti man they said had defamed the Prophet, his companions and his wife on the Twitter messaging site.

The man, identified by his lawyer as Hamad al-Naqi, has told police his account was hacked. He is now in pre-trial detention.

Dozens of Sunni activists protested to condemn Naqi, who is from Kuwait's Shi'ite Muslim minority.

Other countries which have used the death penalty in blasphemy cases include Kuwait's neighbor Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, according to Amnesty International.

Andy 7 years ago

I find this hard to believe that no one commented on this story. Either we have major censorship or major posts missing lol. I believe that each person is entitled to their own opinion and no one should have the right to kill or murder someone over a difference of opinion. If the person is wrong then God will judge them in their after life. One's religious views and religion is their own right and those that believe in God should believe that God will judge that person for his or her good deeds and for his or her bad deeds.

procan 7 years ago

Andy it does not matter what we think,there faith is there law. there God shall judge them and ours will judge us. They have the right to what they want to there own.We in the west really need to mind our own business.

GXQubIocaOAsoejqhGY 7 years ago

There is a critical shoatrge of informative articles like this.