Female Kuwaiti teacher jailed for 11 years for insulting Emir on Twitter


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The Independent Online

A teacher has been sentenced to 11 years in jail for insulting the Emir, inciting regime change and insulting a religious sect via Twitter, two sources close to the case said.

Huda al-Ajmi, 37, is the first woman known to have been convicted for criticising the  US-allied Gulf Arab state’s ruler, described as “immune and inviolable” in the constitution.

Kuwait has penalised several Twitter users for slurs against the Emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah. Sources said Ajmi received two consecutive five-year terms for insulting the Emir and one year for insulting a religious sect.

Ajmi has not yet been taken into custody and can appeal the sentences, sources said. It is rare for a woman to serve jail time for political crimes in Kuwait, which allows more freedom of speech than some other Gulf Arab states.

In April a Kuwaiti court gave an opposition politician five years in jail for insulting the emir, but an appeals court overturned the sentence.