Gulf | Kuwait

Court acquits five bloggers who ‘insulted emir’

Trial of blogger facing ten years’ imprisonment on blasphemy charges is adjourned

  • By Habib Toumi Bureau chief
  • Published: 14:44 February 13, 2013
  • Gulf News

Manama: A Kuwaiti court on Wednesday acquitted five bloggers of the charge of undermining the status of the country’s Emir.

Mohammad Khalid Al Ajmi, Faris Al Bahan, Rashid Al Enezi, Abdul Aziz Al Jarallah and Fahad Al Jufaira faced jail terms for remarks they posted on the Twitter microblog.

However, the court of appeals has refused to free Abdul Hakim Al Fadhli who was sentenced by a lower court to two years in prison for his alleged role in unlawful demonstrations staged by Bidoon (stateless people) and inciting them to confront the security servicemen.

The court said that it adjourned the case until March 6.

Earlier in the week, the court of appeals adjourned until March 11 the trial of a Kuwaiti blogger sentenced last year to 10 years in jail on charges of insulting the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH).

Hamad Al Naqi reportedly used the Twitter microblog to post remarks deemed offensive to the prophet, his companions Abu Baker, Omar and Othman, and his wife Ayesha.

According to prosecutors, the remarks were likely to result in “creating discord within the society and lead to the fragmentation of its members on sectarian lines, according to their religious beliefs”.

They added that Al Naqi also posted tweets targeting the leaders of two Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and charged that they “could harm the national interests of Kuwait”.

In Bahrain, two Bahrainis on Monday were sentenced to six months in prison for undermining the status of the Second Caliph, Omar Bin Al Khattab.

According to the court case, the two men walked into an empty mosque in the Seef area in the outskirts of the capital Manama when no worshippers were present.

One of the two men walked up the minbar, the platform from which sermons or speeches are given, and mocked the caliph while the second suspect filmed him.

However, their act was interrupted by a man who walked into the mosque and upon seeing their behaviour informed the police who rushed to the mosque and arrested the pair as they were making their way out.

During the search, the police discovered that the two men had filmed a similar act inside a mosque in Arad in the northeast of the country.

They were held and then tried on charges of insulting an iconic figure revered by a large segment of the society.

Their lawyer disputed the charges, saying that the iconic figure was not venerated by all Muslims.

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