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Tue 28 Jun 2011 07:47 AM

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Kuwait to try two citizens over Twitter posts

Pair accused of posting criticisms of ruling families in Kuwait, Gulf states

Kuwait to try two citizens over Twitter posts
Twitter

Kuwait will put on trial two citizens for criticising Gulf Arab ruling families on social media site Twitter, a security official said on Monday.

Nasser Abul was arrested for posting criticisms of the ruling families in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, and Lawrence Al Rashidi posted defamatory comments of Kuwait's emir, he said.

He said both would remain in detention for two more weeks before a hearing is scheduled, where they will likely face charges of harming the Gulf Arab state's interests and defaming the country's ruler after being arrested earlier in June.

Democracy activists have used social media such as Facebook and Twitter to debate, organise and share information in Bahrain, where the kingdom's Sunni rulers crushed a protest movement in March led mostly by the country's Shi'ite majority.

Bahrain called in troops from neighbours such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE to enforce its crackdown. OPEC member Kuwait, which has a Shi'ite minority, sent naval forces.

Bahrain questioned a rights activist in April for publishing an image which appeared to show signs of torture on a man who died in detention during the unrest. It is not clear if the case will be brought to court.

Gulf Arab states, run by closely-allied ruling families, are trying to prevent protest movements that brought down Egyptian and Tunisian leaders earlier this year from taking off in their patch.