Huda al-Ajmi, 37, is the first woman known to have been convicted for criticising the US-allied Gulf Arab state’s ruler, described as “immune and inviolable” in the constitution.
Kuwait has penalised several Twitter users in recent months for slurs against the emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah. The political trials have drawn rebuke abroad and anger at home.
Court sources said Ajmi was given two consecutive five-year terms for insulting the emir and one year for insulting an unspecified religious sect. “This is the highest sentence of its kind in these kinds of cases,” one source said.
Ajmi has not yet been taken into custody and can appeal the sentences, the sources said. It is rare for a woman to serve jail time for political crimes in Kuwait, which allows more freedom of speech than some other Gulf Arab states.
In February, Human Rights Watch said prosecutors had charged nearly 25 people with offending the emir, sentencing at least six to jail terms, since October.
Found @ Telegraph