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Blogger Mr.Lawrence al-Rashidi from Kuwait sentenced to ten years in prison

In Love on May 18, 2012 at 2:50 pm

Kuwait: Blogger sentenced to ten years in prison : Arabic Network For Human Rights Information

Cairo – May 17th, 2012   ANHRI condemns the ruling upholding the 10 year imprisonment sentence and 1000 Kuwaiti Dinars fine of Lawrence al-Rashidi, Kuwaiti blogger, on charges of “insulting the Prince and his powers in poems uploaded on YouTube”. ANHRI considers this ruling an evidence that freedom of expression in Kuwait has become at its lowest.   The case goes back to June 2011, when the general prosecution accused al-Rashidi of “spreading false news and rumors about the situation in the country”, “uploading visual and audio recordings prepared by him on YouTube”, “calling for the demolition of values and ethics”, and “calling the tribes to appoint a Prince of the country, demonstrate, confront the ruling regime, and bring down its transgressions”. Al-Rashidi is also being tried because of his posts on Twitter, deemed by the authorities as “an insult to the princely identity”.   It is worth noting that Article 54 of the Kuwaiti constitution stipulates that “the Prince is the head of state whose identity shall not be touched”. This Article contradicts international conventions on human rights that guarantee individuals’ right to freedom of opinion and expression. International conventions also do not put any one above the law or gives him\her immunity against criticism.   “We are deeply disturbed over this cruel and shocking ruling. The campaign launched against the activists in Kuwait is escalating. The Kuwaiti government is detaining bloggers and activists because they express their opinion on the Internet and use it in their discussions and exchange of information,” said ANHRI.   ANHRI also said that Kuwait has failed to adhere to its obligations of guaranteeing human rights and the rule of law, especially after the revolutions of the Arab Spring. The Kuwaiti government has detained a number of bloggers, the best known of them are the tweep Nasser Abel because of expressing his opinion and solidarity with the Bahraini people, and Mohamed al-Melify, writer and blogger. There are also preparations to draft laws restricting freedom of expression on Twitter and other websites.

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