Tweet turns into two year jail term
As you know, people in many countries live under strict laws without freedom of speech as we enjoy in the United States. A perfect example happened recently in Kuwait.
26-year-old Rashid Saleh al-Anzi is a known social activist who has thousands of Twitter followers. Apparently he went too far when he insulted his country’s leader. His words supposedly “stabbed the rights and powers of the emir.” In January, 2013, he was sentenced by a Kuwaiti court to serve two years in prison. He is expected to appeal his sentence.
Kuwait has been taking a firmer line on politically sensitive comments on the Internet. Other examples have led to prison terms for insulting the prophet Muhammad and rulers in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Kuwait has escaped the demonstrations seen in other Arab countries during the Arab Spring when three dictators were toppled in 2011-2012. Kuwait is an ally of the U.S. and a major oil producer.
Compare this with some of the cases we’ve written about regarding your free speech rights. Would you ever think that 140 characters in a tweet could land you in jail?