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Kuwait slaps blogger who insulted Saudi Arabia with five-year sentence Open in fullscreen

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Kuwait slaps blogger who insulted Saudi Arabia with five-year sentence

Al-Saleh has more than 98,000 followers on his Twitter account [Twitter]

Date of publication: 26 December, 2017

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Kuwait sentenced a blogger to five years in prison for allegedly insulting Saudi Arabia.

A Kuwaiti blogger was sentenced to five years in prison for allegedly insulting Saudi Arabia, Kuwait’s criminal court ruled on Monday, according to the local al-Qabas newspaper.

Abdullah al-Saleh, a social media influencer who has vocally stood in support of Qatar amid the ongoing Gulf blockade, said he was sentenced for offending Saudi Arabia.

Al-Saleh also faces charges of insulting the United Arab Emirates after publishing a range of YouTube videos criticising the Gulf state. 

“I have been sentenced to five years for insulting Saudi Arabia -  the reason is my support for the just Qatar!” Al-Saleh tweeted to his 98,000 followers on Twitter.

“I do not regret the tweets or videos - this is my right! I will continue to support the oppressed and I will not return to Kuwait to implement the sentence,” he added.

Translation: “Here you have it! These are the videos I made as part of my advocacy for Qatar. Watch and decide for yourselves whether these amount to state security risks.”

According to his tweets, al-Saleh lived in Qatar for the previous six months but has now left the Gulf state. His Twitter profile suggests he is currently located in London, although there is no official confirmation.

Al-Saleh has been broadcasting short videos on his YouTube channel since March 2016, however the has grown increasingly critical of the blockading nations.

Since 5 June, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have diplomatically isolated Qatar, accusing the emirate of supporting Islamist extremists and of being too close to Iran, Riyadh's arch-rival.

The four countries also cut off all air and sea links to Qatar.

Doha denies the allegations and instead accused the Saudi-led bloc of aiming to incite regime change in Doha.

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