Kuwait jails woman 11 years for anti-emir tweets

June 10, 2013 2:59 pm
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With the ruling, Huda al-Ajmi will become the first woman to go to jail in Kuwait over the use of Twitter/FILE
With the ruling, Huda al-Ajmi will become the first woman to go to jail in Kuwait over the use of Twitter/FILE
KUWAIT CITY, Jun 10 – A Kuwaiti court jailed a woman for 11 years on Monday for posting remarks on Twitter deemed insulting to the emir and calling for the overthrow of the regime, said the verdict.

With the ruling, Huda al-Ajmi will become the first woman to go to jail in Kuwait over the use of Twitter after receiving the longest sentence for online dissent in the Gulf state.

She was convicted of insulting Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, calling for the overthrow of the regime and misusing her cellphone, according to a copy of the lower court ruling.

The director of the Kuwait Society for Human Rights, Mohammad al-Humaidi, confirmed the verdict on Twitter, the popular micro-blogging website.

Ajmi was handed five years for each of the first two charges and one year for the third, becoming the first woman to be sent to jail over Twitter use.

The sentence is also the harshest for an online activist in Kuwait since the government began a clampdown on opposition tweeters in October last year.

Previously, Kuwaiti courts had sentenced at least two female activists to lighter jail terms but suspended the implementation.

Ajmi has categorically denied the charges.

She will have to start serving the prison term immediately until the appeals court starts hearing the case and decides whether she should remain in jail, said the verdict.

Under Kuwaiti law, Ajmi can challenge the ruling at the appeals court and later to the supreme court.

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