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This article was published on March 28, 2012

Kuwaiti Twitter user arrested for blasphemous tweets, as MPs threaten to take matters into their own hands

Kuwaiti Twitter user arrested for blasphemous tweets, as MPs threaten to take matters into their own hands

A man has been arrested in Kuwait for statements made on Twitter which have been deemed blasphemous, reports the state run Kuwaiti News Agency (KUNA).

According to KUNA, he made defamatory statements about Islam, slandering the Prophet Mohamed, his companions and wife. The Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior released a statement, saying that following an interrogation, he is facing court proceedings.

The Ministry’s statement said that it shows “zero tolerance” in these kinds of offences.

The Kuwaiti case is reminiscent of that of Hamza Kashgari, a Saudi journalist who fled the country fearing for his life, following statements he made on Twitter were deemed blasphemous. Despite reports that he was to be released following his public ‘repentance’ in court, Kashgari is still detained.

This not the first time a Kuwaiti tweeter has found himself targetted by authorities following statements made on the social network.

Mohammad al-Mulaifi was detained by the Kuwaiti secret police last month for 21 days pending investigation. He was accused of insulting the Muslim Shi’ite minority, which in the past has led to a three year prison sentence. Al-Mulaifi has yet to be released.

According to Reuters, Kuwaiti local media carried unverified reports that the Twitter user, whose identity was not revealed, denied the accusations, saying “I will never attack the Holy Prophet,” adding that his account was hacked.

Kuwait Times reports that, prior to his arrest, several members of parliament threatened to stage a protest, and to even take matters into their own hands if the arrest was not made.

Member of Parliament Jamaan Al-Harbash said, “The nation should punish him if the government fails to do so.” Other MPs called for the Twitter user’s death, despite the fact that unlike in Saudi Arabia, blasphemy is not punishable by death in Kuwait.