Bahrain student sentenced for insulting king

High school pupil Ali Al Shofa sent to prison for one year for insulting Gulf island's ruler via Twitter.

    Ali Al Shofa denied insulting the king on Twitter [Al Jazeera]
    Ali Al Shofa denied insulting the king on Twitter [Al Jazeera]

    A lower criminal court in Bahrain, headed by a member of the ruling family, has sentenced a 17-year-old boy to a year in jail for insulting the Gulf island's king on Twitter.

    The Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) on Saturday said Ali Al Shofa was arrested in a house raid at dawn on 12 March 2013. He spent two months in jail while under investigation. 

    Ali was accused of posting insulting comments about Sheikh Hamad Al-Khalifa using the account @alkawarahnews, which he denied a relationship with. His lawyer submitted evidence that the account was still being run by other people.

    Human rights groups said the sentencing was part of a wider crackdown on freedom of speech in Bahrain.

    Last month a court sentenced five twitter users to a year each in jail for insulting the king on twitter.

    Earlier in June, the BCHR reported the abduction and incommunicado detention of Jaffar Al-Demstani for tweeting about the torture of his father, Ebrahim Al-Demstani.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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