Kuwait arrests four over Twitter remarks
Published Monday, November 19, 2012
Four Kuwaitis have been arrested for comments made on Twitter and will be detained for 10 days for questioning, an Interior Ministry source said on Monday, after local media reported the detainees had criticized the country's ruler.
Kuwait, a US ally and major oil producer, has been cracking down on social media users who criticize the government, and has charged several citizens this year for comments made on the site directed towards the emir.
"They were summoned and transferred to the prosecution. The public prosecution ordered a 10-day detention," the official said, declining to be named.
The source added that the four were arrested for comments made on Twitter but did not give any details.
Kuwaiti newspapers have reported that the four were arrested last week over comments deemed insulting to the emir, Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, who is described as "immune and inviolable" in the constitution.
This issue has become sensitive in Kuwait since demonstrations against new voting rules ordered by the emir last month ahead of December 1 parliamentary elections.
At least six prominent opposition politician have been charged with comments deemed insulting to the emir, some on Twitter, and some during public speeches at anti-government rallies.
The al-Sabah family has ruled Kuwait for over 250 years. The emir, crown prince, prime minister and key cabinet ministers all hail from the ruling family.