Kuwaiti journalist jailed for Twitter 'insults'

January 7, 2013 - 11:32 AM

KUWAIT CITY (AP) — A Kuwait newspaper says an online journalist has been sentenced to two years in prison for posts deemed "insulting" to the Gulf nation's ruler — the second such ruling this week.

The decision reflects a widening social media crackdown across the Gulf Arab states to quell perceived political dissent.

Kuwait's pro-government Al Watan newspaper reported Monday that Ayyad al-Harbi, a journalist at news website Sabr, was charged with posting Twitter messages considered offensive to the nation's Western-allied emir. No other details were given.

Kuwait, which hosts thousands of U.S. troops, has been gripped by months of political unrest led by anti-government groups, including Islamist factions.

On Sunday, Kuwaiti media said a social media activist also has received a two-year prison term for Twitter posts that allegedly insulted the emir.