Kuwait online activist jailed for Twitter posts

March 31, 2013 - 8:27 AM

KUWAIT CITY (AP) — A human rights campaigner in Kuwait says a Twitter user has been sentenced to two years in prison for insulting the ruler of the Gulf nation.

Since the Arab Spring uprisings, Gulf authorities have sharply stepped up pressure on social media posts that they consider offensive to leaders or threatening to state security. Dozens of people have been jailed or arrested in recent months around the region.

The director of the Kuwait Society for Human Rights, Mohammad al-Humaidi, says a lower court sentenced online activist Hamed al-Khaledi on Sunday to two years in jail for insulting the country's emir. Al-Khaledi can appeal.

Kuwait has the most free-wheeling political system in the Gulf, but officials have drawn a sharp line against online activism and criticism.