Kuwait blogger critical of Saudi gets increased jail term

Kuwait`s appeal court on Wednesday increased by two years the four-year jail sentence of an activist who tweeted comments deemed offensive to Gulf powerhouse Saudi Arabia.

AFP| Last Updated: Feb 18, 2015, 17:24 PM IST

Kuwait City: Kuwait`s appeal court on Wednesday increased by two years the four-year jail sentence of an activist who tweeted comments deemed offensive to Gulf powerhouse Saudi Arabia.

Saleh al-Saeed was sentenced to four years in jail in December by a lower court for posting comments on Twitter in which he accused Saudi Arabia of grabbing land in Kuwait and Bahrain.

The lower court charged that because of the 16 tweets he had posted online in October he had endangered Saudi-Kuwaiti relations and undermined the kingdom.

The appeal court raised the jail sentence to six years but did not give a reason for its decision. Courts in Kuwait usually provide details of rulings days after they are made.

Saeed, who is in his 50s, has in the past few years repeatedly criticised Saudi Arabia, Qatar and some other Gulf states for their hostile position towards the Syrian government.

The sentence is not final as it can be challenged in the supreme court.

Kuwait authorities last month detained several online activists allegedly for comments deemed offensive to Saudi Arabia`s late King Abdullah. No one has so far been sent to court.

Human Rights Watch said in its latest World Report that the Kuwaiti government aggressively targeted free speech throughout 2014. 

Kuwait has cracked down on activists for making comments seen as critical of the oil-rich state`s ruler and other Arab leaders, especially in the Gulf.