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Kuwait Cracks Down on Dissent, Twitter

Mona Kareem documents the Kuwaiti government's crackdown on dissent through Twitter.
Kuwaiti citizen Raken Subaiya checks his Twitter feed on his phone as Yousef al Anazi looks on during a sit-in protest in front of the Justice Palace in Kuwait City October 19, 2012. The protest is against the detention of three former lawmakers and four citizens, including the son of the former Speaker of Parliament and prominent opposition politician Ahmed al-Saadoun. REUTERS/Stephanie Mcgehee (KUWAIT - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST)

Two years after the start of the Arab Spring, the political battle in Kuwait is growing increasingly more tense over Twitter. At the current rate, Kuwait will soon be able to compete with neighboring Bahrain in the number of prosecutions brought against Twitter users. Within weeks of the February 2011 uprising, Bahrain had arrested large numbers of people using Twitter and Facebook to spread their messages. Meanwhile, Kuwaiti authorities also apparently decided to intimidate their critics and others through the arrest and trolling of influential Twitter users. In addition, tens of protesters have been arrested during the opposition’s dignity marches and in demonstrations by the country’s stateless community. The government, it seems, is no longer interested in defending Kuwait's reputation as the ‘most democratic’ state in the Gulf.

Early Cases: Politics and Religion

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