- The Washington Times - Monday, October 28, 2013

A Kuwaiti appeals court has upheld a 10-year prison sentence against a Twitter user for comments considered offensive to Islam and the Sunni monarchies of fellow Gulf states Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, a rights activist in the country told The Associated Press.

Hamad al-Naqi, a Shiite, claimed he was not guilty and his Twitter account was hacked. He was found guilty on all charges and sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment on June 4, 2012, for “insulting the Prophet, the Prophet’s wife and companions, mocking Islam, provoking sectarian tensions, insulting the rulers of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and misusing his mobile phone to spread the comments,” Reuters reported at the time.

The case highlights a growing conservative influence in Kuwait, including crackdowns on online dissent and the deepening cooperation among Gulf nations, the Associated Press reported.

Activist Nawaf al-Handel told the AP that the appeals court refused to lower the June sentence against al-Naqi.