Four years in prison for 140 characters: Kuwait upholds prison sentence for dissident tweeter

Published March 9th, 2016 - 09:40 GMT
Tweeting can be dangerous. (Shutterstock)
Tweeting can be dangerous. (Shutterstock)

The court of cassation yesterday upheld a four-year jail term against Kuwaiti tweeter Ahmad Abdulaziz Al- Fadhel for writing comments on his account deemed offensive to a number of top judges.

Fadhel was sentenced to four years in jail by the criminal court in Oct 2014 after three top judges sued him on charges of defamation. The sentence was confirmed by the appeals court in February last year, and yesterday the same verdict was upheld by the cassation court, whose rulings are final.

The court also asked Fadhel to pay a temporary compensation of KD 5,001 to the judges. This allows them to seek larger damages from civil courts.

Meanwhile, MP Saleh Ashour yesterday called for transferring the forensic and criminal evidence departments from the interior ministry to the justice ministry to ensure that they carry out their duties in a fair and neutral manner.

The lawmaker said that the two departments play a very important role in helping courts and the public prosecution in establishing justice and it is not logical for them to remain under the control of the interior ministry. This demand is not new as many MPs in the past have made similar proposals, but the government has always opposed it.

Also yesterday, MP Saud Al-Huraiji criticized Justice Minister Yaqoub Al-Sane for sending him wrong answers to a question he had asked him. Huraiji also threatened to grill the minister for failing to pay attention to his question.

By B Izzak

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