News

August 22, 2007 - Updated on January 20, 2016

Website editor freed on bail after being held for three days over anonymous post


Journalist and blogger Bashar Al-Sayegh was released on bail yesterday after being interrogated for three days. Agence France-Presse said he was freed once the authorities were in a position to identify the person who posted the anonymous comment insulting the emir on Sayegh's website.
Journalist and blogger Bashar Al-Sayegh was released on bail yesterday after being interrogated for three days. Agence France-Presse said he was freed once the authorities were in a position to identify the person who posted the anonymous comment insulting the emir on Sayegh's website. The authorities reportedly reached the preliminary conclusion that the comment was posted without Sayegh's approval. An interior ministry official nonetheless stressed that Sayegh had been freed pending trial and that he would have to explain why the post was allowed to remain online for several hours. -------------------------------------------- 21.08.07 - Journalist held because of anonymous post on his website that “insulted” emir Reporters Without Borders condemns the detention of journalist Bashar Al-Sayegh since 19 August because of a comment someone posted on a political discussion forum on his website www.aljarida.com. The prosecutor's office yesterday formally charged him with insulting the emir of Kuwait. “The article for which Sayegh is being held was posted by an anonymous visitor to his website,” the press freedom organisation said. “His arrest and the decision to charge him are incomprehensible as his only crime is to run a website. We call on the authorities to drop their plans to prosecute him.” The police arrested Sayegh at the newspaper where he works, Al-Jarida, on 19 August. They said they were acting on an authorisation from the central prosecutor's office, to which he was taken the next day. Sayegh has denied the charges, claiming that the site's administrators take care to ensure that nothing that could “undermine the emir, religion or constitution” is posted on the site. The offending article was taken down by one of the site's administrators less than 24 hours after it had been posted. Al-Jarida photographer Jassim Al-Qames was arrested at the same time as Sayegh for taking photos of his arrest. He was released later, but said he had been beaten.