KUWAIT: Kuwait’s appeals court has upheld a 10-year jail sentence against an online activist on charges of insulting the emir and harming national interests, a newspaper reported yesterday. Waleed Fares was convicted of spreading false news on Twitter about the Gulf state’s domestic affairs which harmed national interests and of insulting the emir and undermining his authority. He was also convicted of publishing comments deemed offensive to judges and the public prosecutor.
On Wednesday, the appeals court upheld the 10-year jail sentence handed down by a lower court, Kuwait’s Al-Qabas newspaper reported. In recent years, dozens of opposition politicians and activists have been jailed by the Kuwaiti courts, most of them on charges of insulting the emir or undermining his authority. Dozens more are awaiting trial on similar charges. The crackdown came after the emir dissolved an opposition-dominated parliament in 2012 sparking two years of mass street protests. A key opposition member of the dissolved assembly, Mussallam al-Barrak, has been in jail for more than 18 months, serving a two-year sentence on charges of insulting the emir during one of the protests. – AFP