Kuwaiti Tweeter Gets Seven Year Jail Term

A Kuwaiti court ruled that the man’s comments on Twitter caused sectarian divisions in the country.

A Kuwaiti court sentenced a local writer to seven years in jail and ordered that he pay nearly $18,000 in compensation after ruling that his comments on Twitter had damaged the image of Kuwait.

The court said Kuwaiti Mohammad al-Mulaifi posted falsehoods about sectarian divisions in the Gulf Arab country.

He was arrested in February and his comments triggered protests, according to Kuwaiti media. His lawyer was not immediately available for comment.

Twitter is very popular in Kuwait, where many public figures use the site to debate current events, swap gossip and share news. But the public messaging site has landed several users in trouble with Kuwaiti authorities.

Police arrested a Kuwaiti man last month, accusing him of insulting Prophet Mohammad on his Twitter account. He denied this, saying his account was hacked, according to his lawyer.

Dozens of activists protested last week to condemn the man and some members of the parliament called for his execution.

In September, a Kuwaiti court convicted a man for insulting Gulf rulers and posting inflammatory sectarian comments online, but he was released immediately because of time already served while awaiting trial, according to a human rights activist.