Prison for Twitter Insults

The Guardian is reporting that a Kuwaiti man has been sentenced to prison for Twitter posts that insulted the Emir of the country liberated from Iraqi occupiers by the United States during the Gulf War.

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

Kuwait has seen a series of opposition-organised protests, including one on Sunday night, 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.

In Washington, the US state department said it had seen the reports of the two men’s sentences and had raised the issue with the Kuwaiti government, which it urged to respect freedom of speech.

Meanwhile in the American state of Arizona…

 

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