See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Kuwaiti Emir Pardons Jailed Tweeters

Kuwait's ruler issued a pardon today [July 30] for those who insulted him – many of whom were sentenced for attacking him online. Netizens comment on Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah's gesture.

On Twitter, many welcomed the move while others were skeptical and argued those convicted and imprisoned, one up to 11 years, were exercising their freedom of speech. Under Kuwaiti law, lese majeste is prohibited as the Emir's stance “cannot be violated.”

Majid Jaber Al Enzi welcomed the move, saying [ar]:

I believe that after the Emir's pardon, everyone should forget a lot of the past and turn a fresh leaf, which should be calm through advice and dialogue

Tariq Al Kindari adds:

After the Emir's pardon of the imprisoned youth, I hope a political initiative for national reconciliation, political reform and the return of what was follows

And Dr Hussain bin Hadba tweets:

I hope today's pardon puts an end to the culture of insulting the rulers for no reason and we avoid settling scores through insults and bad mouthing

In return, Musaed Al Musaylem tweets:

They have not committed anything wrong to be pardoned

Khaled Al Barrak adds:

The youth have not committed anything wrong for them to be pardoned or for them to apologise. If there is anyone who should apologise, then it is the authorities who have trespassed on the constitution

And Khaled Al Tawari responds:

There is an easy solution for those of you against the pardon. Do what they did and get jailed, and then refuse the pardon. Be courageous and hang on to your values and the 140-character courage!

Many of those pardoned [10 according to reports] were jailed because of tweets in which they reportedly insulted the Emir. Last month, a female Kuwaiti teacher was sentenced to 11 years in prison for insulting the Emir on Twitter, among other charges. It is not clear if the teacher was among those pardoned.

According to Human Rights Watch, at least 35 prosecutions have been made in Kuwait against citizens, including online activists, for insulting the Emir since October 2012.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices
* = required field
Email Frequency



No thanks, show me the site