Because Ten Years in Prison Isn’t Enough

The day after a Kuwaiti court sentenced a man to ten years in prison for blasphemy, the emir of that country has vetoed legislation that was recently passed that would make the penalties for that non-existent crime even harsher — up to and including the death penalty. But that doesn’t mean the law won’t be implemented:

Kuwaiti Emir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on Wednesday rejected a bill passed by the country’s Parliament amending a law authorizing death for ‘mocking religion.’

The legislation would have amended Article 111 of the Penal Code to authorize death penalty or life imprisonment for anyone who “mocks God, Prophets and Messengers, or the honor of His Messengers and wives.”

However, the royal veto is not strong enough to prevent the bill from becoming law, if it is overruled by two-thirds majority of members of Parliament and Cabinet Ministers.

The Kuwaiti Emir’s veto of a legislation, which violates human rights standards, comes a day after Kuwait’s Court of First Instance sentenced a youth to ten years in jail for criticizing the Kings of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and allegedly “insulting” Prophet Mohammed on the social media site Twitter.

The court convicted Hamad al-Naqi, 26, for tweets criticizing the neighboring rulers on the basis of Article 15 of the National Security Law, which sets a minimum three-year sentence for “intentionally broadcasting news, statements, or false or malicious rumors … that harm the national interests of the state,” Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported on Thursday quoting Naqi’s lawyer Khaled al-Shatti.

The court also convicted Naqi for a tweet allegedly insulting Prophet Mohammed and his wife Aisha under Article 111 of the Penal Code, which prohibits mocking religion and carries a maximum one-year sentence.

It is appalling that any sane person could even consider such a law.

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  • slc1

    The Christofascists in the USA only wish they had this kind of power.

  • The law is horrendous enough that I don’t need to comment on it. But when I was reading the story, I saw that a “youth” was charged and I thought of a teenager spending ten years in prison. Until I got to his age. Since when has a 26-year-old been a “youth”?

  • d cwilson


    They must be seething with professional jealousy.

  • Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    Until I got to his age. Since when has a 26-year-old been a “youth”?

    The definition of “youth” is very culture-dependent. IIRC the ancient Romans also considered a man a youth (adulescens) up till age 30 or so and a young man (juvenis) all the way to 40.

  • Hercules

    As the father of five, I’d go even further than the Romans. I’m firmly of the opinion that human life doesn’t begin at conception (or for that matter before it) but instead at about 25-30.