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


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Residents of long-neglected northwestern tribal belt say incorporation into Pakistan has left them in a vacuum.