Kuwaiti Jailed for 6 Years for Insulting Saudi Arabia in a Tweet

In a related issue, the court of appeals has yesterday raised the jail term issued against Saleh Al-Saeed who is an activist who was found guilty of insulting Saudi Arabia, and endangering Saudi-Kuwait ties. His jail term has been increased from four to six years. The original verdict of four years was awarded to him by the criminal court after he wrote negative comments about the Kingdom on Twitter. Saeed was accused of issuing 16 tweets, which claimed that Saudi Arabia had occupied portions of Bahrain and Kuwait. He also spoke against the kingdom's position towards the Syrian regime and also ridiculed the Saudi foreign minister. The ruling, however, is also challengeable in the cassation court.[irp]

Many members of parliament have also praised the judiciary of Kuwait after the prosecution issued three verdicts on Tuesday to remove three pending cases and bench them. The cases were related to allegations of corrupt judges. The prosecution has said that it had gathered enough evidence to prove that the allegations are baseless and false. Rakan Al-Nasef, a member of parliament, rejected the attempted discrediting of the judiciary, saying the claims had tried to tarnish the reputation of the judges. He has said that these claims have no substantial weight as there is no evidence regarding these claims.

KUWAIT: The administrative court has stated that the decisions by the ministry of information and commerce, to cancel the commercial and media licenses of Al-Watan newspaper are in accordance with Kuwaiti law, hence rejecting the petition which the daily newspaper had filed against the government. The court, in its ruling, has stated that shutting down Al-Watan is completely legal and is not in relation to freedom of press and speech. They also stated that the newspaper had violated the information and commerce ministry laws, and hence their closure is legal.

The ministry of commerce decided on 18 January to revoke the commercial licenses of the daily, for failing to meet the required minimum capital as a commercial company. The ministry of information then followed the decision by revoking another media license of the newspaper to prevent it from printing. In accordance with the commercial law, companies which lose more than three-quarters of their capital will have their licenses revoked.Rashed Al-Radaan, who is the lawyer for Al-Watan, has stated that he has no knowledge regarding the grounds of the ruling. As the ministry of commerce has no legal authority to revoke licenses of a shareholder company. He has also stated on the daily’s website that he will thoroughly study the details of the verdict given by the court, before filing an appeal in the court of appeals.[irp]

The case, after the appeal, is expected to go to the cassation court, whose decisions are final. The legal representative has insisted that the new ruling has not had any impact on the order by the emergency judge, who had ruled that Al-Watan must be permitted to continue publication until a final court verdict has been issued.

Source: Kuwait Times

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