For decades Kuwait, with its rowdy elected parliament and noisy press, has enjoyed relative freedom. Faced in recent months by unprecedented mass demonstrations demanding broader democracy, the sleekly rich city-state’s riot police have gained a nasty reputation for brutality.

Thus spake The Economist a few weeks ago, just prior to a session organised by the UK Embassy in Kuwait to “focus on finding the right balance between ensuring freedom of expression and security in the context of the rising popularity of social media.” It was vigorously tweeted at #q8_expression, and a couple of accounts of the meeting have appeared online.

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