It may not be the first time that a Twitter user is arrested for their tweets, but Nasser Abul is the first Kuwaiti citizen to face this charge. The irony in his arrest is that his criticism was not of the Kuwaiti government itself, but rather of criticizing the Bahraini and Saudi governments, particularly in relation to their treatment of the Shi’ite minority, of which he is one. His arrest is just one more trend in the clearly iron clad links between the GCC governments.
But that is not the only controversy in this story. Nasser Abul’s arrest on Thursday garnered mixed reactions from Twitter users, due to his vocal support of the Syrian regime. But support for the arrested Twitter user has far outweighed anything else. Kuwaiti Shi’ite Member of Parliament Hassan Johar tweeted that Abul’s arrest was a violation of freedom of expression and that he should not be held without any charges being brought against him.
This is not the first time an online activist’s arrest has been met with mixed reactions in the Middle East. Egyptian blogger Maikel Nabil’s, arrest and three year prison sentence earlier this year went unheeded by many Egyptian activists due to the blogger’s pro-Israeli stance.