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Kuwait jails 2 for offending emir

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March 7, 2013 09:16 AM EST | AP

KUWAIT CITY — Two activists have been jailed in Kuwait for Twitter posts that authorities claimed were offensive to the country's ruler.

The sentences are part of an escalating backlash from authorities as the oil-rich country faces growing political unrest.

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

Several government-affiliated newspapers reported Thursday that Sager al-Hashash was sentenced to two years in prison and Naser al-Daihani was given a one-year sentence.

It was the latest sign of growing intolerance in Kuwait.

Last week, Zayed al-Zaid, a columnist for the anti-government newspaper, Alaan, was jailed for a month for publishing an article that alleged that a politician was corrupt.