Three months ago, with sectarianism reaching its climax in the public sphere after the Bahraini protests, a Kuwaiti Twitter user named Nasser Abul (@NasserAbuL) was arrested for insulting the Bahraini and Saudi regimes.
At first, many people thought arresting Abul was caused by his sectarian tweets, which he wrote to express his anger towards what is happening to adherents of the Shia sect in Bahrain; however, that was not the only charge. Abul spent three months between the state security police and the central jail and his court sessions were postponed several times. Finally, the court decided to release Abul after sentencing him to three months, which he had already served, for insulting the Sunni sect.
This decision came weeks after the sentencing of a Sunni tweep called Mubarak Al-Bathali (@mubaark) to three years in jail for insulting a religious sect and trying to “hurt national unity”. Al-Bathali, unlike Abul, did not try to deny what he wrote on Twitter. The sentence was later shortened to six months in jail.
Kuwaiti mainstream media has not been transparent about the details of Abul's case and what is generally assured is that he denied writing his tweets, saying that someone hacked into his account and tweeted the controversial posts.
Online, Kuwaiti netizens kept on using the sectarian insulting posts against each other. When looking for reactions to Abul's release, one can hardly find anyone dealing with this case as a human rights or a political case. In the Kuwaiti National Online Forum, a discussion was started after the release of Nasser Abul when a forum member called Al-Ashtar [ar] wrote the following:
Another member of the forum named “Bidoon Mojamala” [ar] responded by saying:
Al-Ashtar wrote another reply in this post, which went on for several pages, saying that sectarianism is very common in Kuwait:
Sager [ar] tried to speak the wise word saying that people should defend the Shia Nasser Abul and the Sunni Mubarak Al-Bathali equally:
Advox: Three Netizens Detained