Kuwait’s cybercrime law affects freedom of expression

Kuwait’s Cybercrime Law No. 63 (approved by its National Assembly in June), imposes severe restrictions on freedom of speech that deteriorate an already dangerous environment for online activists, went into effect last month. Among other stipulations, it considers an offense, punishable by one year in prison and a fine, to publish any material that (among other things):

  • Criticizes the Head of State
  • Shows contempt or disdain for the State Constitution.
  • Insults or demonstrates contempt for the judiciary or prejudices their integrity and impartiality.
  • Prejudices public morals, incites to breach public order or violate law even if a crime does not occur.

Other articles prohibit such actions such as ‘the publication of incitement to overthrow the regime in the country.’