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Kuwaiti MPs to quiz interior minister over Twitter

Kuwait's interior minister to be questioned by opposition MPs after the arrest of two youth activists who posted Tweets deemed offensive to the Gulf state's ruler

AFP , Thursday 3 Nov 2011
 Kuwaiti Parliament
Members of the Kuwait's Parliament stand to applaud after the speech by the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on Tuesday, Oct.25, 2011. (Photo:AP)
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Kuwaiti opposition MPs said on Thursday they have decided to quiz the interior minister after two youth activists were questioned and harassed for remarks on their Twitter accounts.

"The (Islamic) Reform and Development Bloc has decided to grill the interior minister over the harassment of tweeters," spokesman MP Faisal al-Muslim told reporters.

Authorities have arrested and questioned two leading youth activists Hamad al-Olayan and Tareq al-Mutairi for allegedly making tweets deemed offensive to the status of the Gulf state ruler.

Olayan, who was detained for one day, and Mutairi were interrogated by the public prosecutor and released without bail pending further investigations after the Muslim Eid Al-Adha holidays which end on November 12.

They were interrogated on state security charges for which they could face several years in jail.

"There is a clear misuse of powers by authorities," Mutairi told reporters outside the Palace of Justice after he was released by the prosecutor, charging that these measures were "deliberately oppressing," activists.

"So far, I have made 20,000 tweets and none of them offended the emir... authorities are using the accusation as a pretext to harass opposition activists," he said.

About 200 youth activists staged an angry rally Wednesday night outside the parliament building to protest what they called a crackdown on tweeters and activists.

Last month, Kuwaiti courts jailed for three months each a Sunni tweeter for remarks offensive to Shiites and a Shiite activist for tweets deemed insulting to Gulf leaders. 

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