Kuwait: ANHRI Denounces Sentencing a Blogger for Five Years Imprisonment due to Accusation of Insulting the Emir

Cairo March 21, 2013

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI), denounces the judgment issued by the Kuwaiti court against the blogger “Bader El-Rashidi”, for five years imprisonment with labor due to accusation of insulting the Emir.

The Kuwaiti Court of Appeal in the hearing held on Wednesday March 20, 2013, the court issued a decision to sentence the blogger “El-Rashidi” for five years with labor on the background of being accused by similar charges which include the attempt to overthrow the regime, publish false news, insult the Emir, challenge the rights of the Emir, insult the position of the Emirate and abuse the use of the phone, despite his personal account had posts on “twitter” during the period since he was arrested from June 14 to 212, which proves that it is used by another person.

Previously, the Criminal Court issued a decision to imprison “El-Rashidi” for two years with labor. The facts of the case back to June 2012, when he was arrested due to insulting the Emir and until recently nothing was known about him.

Some information were published via the social networks and among the activists and the bloggers, after they knew the case of the blogger, related to some details that he was forced to confess the charges pressed on him after he was threatened to harass and arrest him wife.

In the context of prosecuting the activists and the bloggers, the Appellate Court acquitted the activist in the case of the “stateless” Abdulhakim Alfadaly on the background of organizing unauthorized march, assembling and assaulting police officers after he spent three months in the prison. The criminal court ordered to imprison him for two year in January 16, 2013 for the same charges. The criminal court adjourned the case in which four activists were charged by challenging the right of the Emir and his power, insulting the Emir, insulting the position of the Emir, assembling as an aim to commit a crime, non-compliance to the orders of the police and participating in a demonstration in April 17, 2013. The four activists are “Khaled El-Fadalah, Rashaed El-Fadalah, Fahad El-Qabndi and Abdullah El-Rasam”.

ANHRI said that “the sentence issued by the court against the “El-Rashidi” of five years imprisonment due to insulting the Emir via the social networks is a clear violation the freedom of expression, a huge setback in the freedoms in Kuwait that enjoyed a little democracy and an attempt of the authorities to silence the voices of the opposition. The sentence was issued, despite it was clear that charges were trumped up against him after he was threatened that his family will be harassed.

ANHRI said that the sentence issued by acquitting the stateless activists “Fadaly” from the charges pressed on him after he spent three months behind the bars after the court issued from the criminal court for two years in charges of assaulting a police officer, despite the police officer waived his complaint, proves that the authorities seek to punish the opposition by all forms and with all the available tools which include the imprisonment on trumped up the charges with the flow of evidences to support this accusation, despite the issuance of the acquittals in one of the litigation instance.

ANHRI demands the dropping of the charges pressed on the blogger “El-Rashidi”, immediately release him, not prosecute him and guarantee his safety.

For more information

http://www.anhri.net/?p=68435

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