Four Kuwaitis arrested over ‘insulting’ tweets

Twitter comments deemed insulting to emir

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Four Kuwaitis arrested over ‘insulting’ tweets Social media has been growing inn popularity among Kuwaitis. (Getty Images)
By  Stephen McBride Published  November 20, 2012

Four Kuwaitis have been detained for 10 days' questioning following national media reports that they had made comments on Twitter that criticised the emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah, Reuters reported.

Under the Kuwaiti constitution the emir is held as "immune and inviolable" and the Gulf state has been taking a tougher line on comments made on social media, which has been growing in popularity among its citizens. Several people have been arrested and charged this year with provoking public unrest.

"[The four] were summoned and transferred to the prosecution. The public prosecution ordered a 10-day detention," an unnamed Interior Ministry source told Reuters, speaking of the most recent arrests.

Discontent has grown in recent days as changes in the voting system, claimed by the emir to improve the electoral process and preserve national unity, have become a source of controversy ahead of 1 December parliamentary elections.

Although Kuwait allows public demonstrations about local issues and has avoided an Arab Spring-style uprising, tensions have mounted between the elected parliament and the government, whose senior members come from the emir's family. Musallam al-Barrak, a prominent opposition politician has been charged for comments made at a demonstration rally in October.

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