Abul Nasser is due to hear the Kuwaiti court verdict on Sept. 27, over charges that have resulted in his prison detention since June. Abul was charged with crimes against state security for criticizing the Arab monarchs of Bahrain and Saudi, via Twitter.
Article 36 of Kuwait's Constitution: "Freedom of opinion shall be guaranteed. Every person shall have the right to express and propogate his opinion verbally, in writing or otherwise." (Amnesty International)
The Kuwaiti court is due to hand out the verdict on Sept. 27 on the case of Abul Nasser, arrested by the secret police and detained in prison since June 7. Abul, 26, a Shia blogger, is charged with crimes against state security by criticizing the Sunni royal leaders of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, via Twitter. Abul maintains his innocence, claiming his Twitter account was hacked and he was not responsible for the messages which resulted in his arrest, Press TV reports.
According to Foreign Policy, the Tweets referred to the al-Saud and al-Khalifa royal families as “impure,” and described them as “Interchangeable pairs of bathroom slippers.” Additionally there was criticism of the Bahrain rulers’ suppression of the largely Shiite protests against the Sunni regime. Whilst held in Kuwait’s state security prison Abul has suffered abuse. He has been beaten and exposed to continual bright lights to prevent him sleeping.
Protesters have gathered in Kuwait City to demand his release and support the principle of free speech which is guaranteed in the Kuwait Constitution. The guarantee was thrown out of the window though when free speech extended to criticizing the ruling elite, as Kuwait went into overdrive to suppress any such criticism.
Amnesty International has been campaigning for Abul’s release and organized a candlelit vigil on Sept. 16 to mark his 100 days of detention. According to Amnesty the charges against Abul are “Damaging the country’s interests” and “Severing political relationships with brotherly countries.” Amnesty concludes that whilst the Twitter messages were critical of the Bahraini and Saudi leaders, and did include derogatory comments, they did not “Advocate violence, racism or racial hatred.” The most interesting fact exposed by Amnesty is that Abul was arrested by the Kuwaiti secret police at the behest of the authorities in Saudi Arabia.
Not only are the Saudi’s insulted and calling for blood, but Sheikh Abdullah Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Fateh Al Khalifa of Bahrain is filing a private libel and slander suit against Abul on behalf of the al-Khalifa royal family.
The verdict in the court case against Abul was postponed from Sept. 20 until the Sept. 27. In a similar case the Kuwait court sentenced another blogger to three months in prison on Sept. 25 for posting anti-Shia remarks on his Twitter account.