A Kuwaiti lawyer says the country's supreme court has upheld a verdict against an online journalist sentenced to two years in prison for Twitter posts deemed insulting to the Gulf nation's ruler.

Ayyad al-Harbi was arrested in 2012 as part of a social media crackdown throughout the Gulf aimed at quelling perceived political dissent in the wake of the Arab Spring unrest.

One of his tweets included a line from a poem by an Iraqi poet that criticizes dictators — a step seen as a reference to the ruler of Kuwait. An appeals court upheld the verdict last year.

Lawyer Mohammed al-Humaidi said Sunday's decision means "game over" for his client, barring a pardon by the emir.