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Twitter blasphemer sentenced to 10 years in jail

By Katerina Nikolas     Jun 4, 2012 in Internet
A Kuwaiti man has been convicted on charges of endangering state security by insulting the Prophet Mohammed on his Twitter account.
Hamad al-Naqi, 26, was sentenced to the maximum 10 years in jail for his blasphemous tweets. Alarabiya reported additional charges included "insulting the Gulf regimes of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain" and "spreading false news that undermined Kuwait’s image abroad."
According to the Jerusalem Post al-Naqi was found guilty of those charges, and also guilty of provoking sectarian tensions, insulting Islam and misusing his mobile phone.
Politicians had called for the death sentence, but a new law passed in May, which stipulates the death penalty for serious religious offences, has not yet come into effect.
Al-Naqi denied the charges, claiming his Twitter account had been hacked. His lawyer argued that even if al-Naqi had written the offending remarks he would have been guilty of a "crime of opinion" rather than threatening national security. The lawyer said he will appeal the conviction.
Al-Naqi has been incarcerated since his arrest in March. Many Sunni Muslims, the majority in Kuwait, have protested against al-Naqi, a Shiite, for insulting the Prophet, calling for him to be punished. In April Alarabiya reported he was attacked in prison by a fellow inmate and had to be hospitalized.
More about Twitter, Prophet mohammed, Blasphemy, Hamad alNaqi, crime of opinion
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