Kuwait City: A rights activist in Kuwait says an appeals court has upheld a 10-year prison sentence against a social media commentator for posts considered offensive to Islam and the rulers of fellow Gulf states Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

Monday’s ruling highlights the escalating crackdowns in the Gulf on perceived online dissent and the deepening cooperation among Gulf nations, fearing political challenges inspired by the Arab Spring.

Saudi Arabia led a Gulf military force in 2011 that helped Bahrain battle an opposition uprising seeking a greater political voice.

Activist Nawaf Al Handel says the appeals court refused to lower the June 2012 sentence against Hamad Al Naqi.

Al Naqi, a Shiite, claims his Twitter account was hacked.

Prosecutors say Al Naqi insulted Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and the leaders of the two Gulf states.