x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Kuwait man who insulted emir on Twitter has sentence halved

Sager Al Hashash was sentenced to two years in prison on March 7 for remarks he made on social media forum.

KUWAIT CITY // A government critic who insulted Kuwait's emir on Twitter had his sentence halved yesterday.

Sager Al Hashash was sentenced to two years in prison on March 7 for remarks he made on the website. He has been in jail since then and will remain there until the supreme court reviews the appellate court's decision.

Al Hashash is also on trial in several other cases on similar charges and is one of 70 opposition members and former MPs being tried for storming the parliament building in November 2011.

Kuwaiti courts have over the past few months handed down prison sentences to several opposition activists and former MPs for remarks deemed insulting to Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, the emir.

The lower court this month also sentenced opposition leader and former MP Mussallam Al Barrak to five years in jail over remarks deemed offensive to the emir. The ruling sparked street protests and condemnation by international human-rights groups.

Criticising the emir in Kuwait is considered a state-security offence. Those convicted face up to five years in jail.

Opposition activists gathered in the capital, Kuwait City, on Sunday night in solidarity with detainees but were prevented by riot police from staging a march.