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Church State Issues

Kuwait blogger gets 10 years for insulting prophet Mohammed

Jun 4, 2012

USA Today

By Douglas Stanglin, USA TODAY

A Kuwaiti court has sentenced a blogger to 10 years in prison for insulting the prophet Mohammed and for harming Kuwait's interests with disparaging tweets about the regimes in neighboring Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, Gulf News and other media report.

The court convicted Hamad Al-Naqi, 26, of Kuwait, of blasphemy for tweets about the prophet Mohammed, his companions, and his wife, Aisha, in February and March.

Al-Naqi was also accused of posting remarks that "denigrated Islam as a religion, ridiculed its beliefs and teachings and scorned its iconic figures."

The prosecutor told the court that the tweets "were likely to stoke sedition within the community and mobilize segments alongside sectarian lines," Gulf News reports.

Al-Naqi had pleaded not guilty, saying that his Twitter account had been hacked and that he did not post the messages, Reuters reports.

Gulf News also reports that several lawmakers called for his execution.

Gulf News says the Kuwaiti parliament, which is dominated by "Islamist and tribal representatives," has passed an anti-blasphemy draft law that calls for the death penalty for anyone convicted of insulting God, Mohammed, or his companions or relatives.