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updated: 4/29/2013 9:11 AM

Kuwait court keeps jail time for Twitter insult

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Associated Press

KUWAIT CITY -- A Kuwait appeals court says an online activist must serve a jail sentence for Twitter posts deemed offensive to the Gulf nation's ruler, but the prison term was reduced from two years to one.

Monday's decision sends a message that Kuwaiti authorities are holding firm to their crackdown on social media despite having put on hold proposals for tougher media codes, which could have imposed fines of nearly $1 million for insulting the Western-backed emir.

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Since last year, officials have stepped up arrests for perceived dissent on blogs and Twitter.

Kuwaiti media says the appeals court cut in half the two-year sentence given in March to Sager al-Hashash for Twitter posts.

Kuwait has the Gulf's most free-wheeling political system and a vibrant press, but denouncing the emir is illegal.

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