Manama: Kuwait’s court of appeals has upheld a jail sentence against a female blogger on charges of undermining the status of the Emir.
The court said that Sarra Al Darees would have to spend 20 months in prison after she posted four tweets deemed offensive to the country’s ruler. A lower court issued the initial sentence in May.
According to the public prosecution, the blogger had used her microblog account and her mobile to abuse the Emir on several occasions.
She was found guilty of posting four tweets “tarnishing the Emiri authority” but she was declared innocent of making 44 other tweets for which she was investigated. The tweets were posted on her personal Twitter account, local media reported.
Other charges levelled against her included taking part in an unlicensed rally and the misuse of her mobile phone.
Her mother, Aisha Al Ali, said that the tweets posted by her daughter were “basically to express concern about the future of Kuwait.”
She added that her daughter would take the case to the court of cassation.
Several bloggers stood trial in Kuwait after they posted tweets deemed offensive to the Emir, mainly during the bitter stand-off between the opposition and the government over the merit of amending the 2006 electoral law.
Under the amendment, voters could elect only one candidate instead of four as was case until October.
However, the opposition charged that the amendment was introduced to limit its power and organised a series of rallies and demonstrations in October and November ahead of the parliamentary elections on December 1 to put pressure on the government and have the amendment decree revoked.
Even though the opposition pressed for the boycott of the elections, the government said that they were successful.
During the heyday of the standoff, the authorities warned that they would take legal action against those who challenged the state “outside the confines of the law” or “undermined the status of the Emir.”