Back in June, we wrote about Nasser Abdul, a Kuwaiti man who was both sued and detained for disparaging tweets he sent against the Baharain and Saudi Arabia ruling families. After more than three months behind bars for his 140-character thoughts, Abdul has finally been freed.
According to a report from Global Voices, Abdul was arrested in June and held in prison for three months, being moved between the state security police and the central jail while his court date was repeatedly postponed.
Finally, after three months of uncertainty, Abdul was sentenced to serve three months in jail for his tweets – a sentence he had already served, and so was released.
His official “crime” appears to be insulting the Shia sect in Bahrain as well as the royal family.
During his trial, he and his lawyer argued that his Twitter account was hacked, and those messages were sent by someone other than Abdul.
Within the Global Voices article, several Kuwaiti citizens are cited as supporting the charges against Abdul, as opposed to fighting for the freedom of speech. For instance, a forum user named Bidoon Mojamala said:
…the truth came out late, but the truth is that Nasser took less than what he deserved in terms of punishment. You should realize that Nasser now is not the previous Nasser because the State Security Police gave him a lesson to teach him how to avoid such trouble! The coming days will prove that to you and he will be more careful before saying any words.
Others did say that the treatment of Nasser Abdul, who is a Shia, should be the same as
Mubarak Al-Bathali, a Sunni who is currently facing a six year sentence for his tweets, commuted to six months.
The polarization of citizens on the matter of using Twitter for free speech is quite startling, as is the power of a handful of tweets to spark such a heated debate.
(Image via Facebook)