BEIRUT

Middle East

Kuwait top court jails activist over insulting emir

Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, and his Greek counterpart Evangelos Venizelos arrive for a meeting in Athens, on Thursday, June 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait's supreme court Sunday upheld a two-year jail sentence handed to an opposition online activist for writing tweets deemed offensive to the Gulf state's ruler.

Hejab al-Hajeri, a student of law in his early 20s, said on his Twitter account after the ruling that his "determination is bigger than their jail."

Hajeri was handed the jail term by the emirate's lower court in April last year after it deemed that comments he made on his Twitter social network account were critical of the emir.

The appeals court upheld the sentence six months later.

The activist, who has been out on bail, must now serve the jail term since the supreme court's verdicts are final.

Kuwaiti courts have in the past two years convicted and jailed a number of opposition tweeters for allegedly insulting the emir, who has pardoned a number of them. Many more are on trial facing similar charges.

Criticising the emir is illegal under the law and carries a jail term of up to five years.

Oil-rich Kuwait has been rocked by ongoing political disputes since mid-2006 that have stalled development despite abundant budget surpluses.

 

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