Kuwaiti Woman Jailed for Insulting the Emir

Kuwait - the emir

Speaking of excessively harsh punishments (see: Taliban beheading two children), a Kuwaiti woman has been jailed for insulting the emir over Twitter.

A Kuwaiti court has sentenced Huda al-Ajmi, a 37-year-old teacher, to 11 years in jail for insulting the emir and calling for regime change on Twitter. In addition to being convicted of insulting Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, she was also charged with misusing her mobile phone. Now that’s a crime worth 11 years of jail time!

Ajmi joins a long list of Twitter users and former-opposition parliamentarians to face trial or receive jail terms for allegedly insulting the emir, who is described as “immune and inviolable” in the constitution. But although Kuwait has punished several other Twitter users in recent months for insulting its ruler, Sheikh Sabah al-Sabah, Ajmi’s 11-year sentence is the longest one yet for online dissent in the Gulf state.

But no need to fret yet! Ajmi can still appeal her sentences. It certainly worked for opposition poitician Mussallam al-Barrak. His five-year sentence for “undermining” the ruling emir was overturned by an appeals court in May. The former MP was arrested over remarks he made at a rally in October, suggesting the emir should avoid autocratic rule in Kuwait. The emir thought otherwise and arrested him but his trial prompted some pretty angry protests.

Long story short: stay tuned for more Twitter clampdowns in Kuwait and more angry clashes between activists and police.

Via: Al Jazeera

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