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Tue 28 Jan 2014 01:35 PM

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Kuwait in crackdown on transgender people

Seven people said to have been arrested for impersonating opposite sex - reports

Kuwait in crackdown on transgender people
(Getty Images - Photo for illustrative purpose only)

Authorities in Kuwait are cracking down on the presence of transgender and cross-dressing individuals in the conservative Gulf state, according to reports.

In the last week seven transgender persons are said to have been arrested on charges of “imitating the opposite sex”.

Local newspaper Al Watan said in the latest case an individual had been detained after a customer at the ladies’ hair salon in which they were working became suspicious of their gender and reported them to police.

The individual has now been charged with offences including “sexual assault” and “entering a space dedicated to women only”. That case has now said to have been forwarded to Kuwait’s Prosecutor General.

Six others have been arrested in similar circumstances in recent days, it was reported, with five still said to be being held in custody.

Under Kuwait law, anyone that imitates the appearance of the opposite sex can be jailed for up to one year or fined up to $3,500.

Two years ago, lobbyist group Human Rights Watch issued a report condemning arrests and alleged mistreatment of transgender persons in the country.

Ahmed 5 years ago

Transgender individuals are very common in Kuwait, after that said, all the transgender individuals I have seen have all been Kuwaitis.

Paula Audette 5 years ago

As a transgender woman who has travelled to Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE, I have always been afraid while in country. Perhaps the Arab world should take Khomeni's decision and understand that being transgender is Islamically acceptable. None of us are trying to overthrow the government, create civil unrest, or do anything other than what ordinary women travellers do in this countries. How sad that some government authorities have such a poor understanding of Islam, and let their cultural prejudices overshadow the teachings of Islam.

Samer 5 years ago

Sure, there are transgenders and homosexuals in the Arabian Gulf but that does not mean that the Arabian GCC will encourage any licentious lifestyle, the GCC is not the haven or destination of transgenders and homosexuals. All are bound to respect the laws of the land and act in an honorable manner!!!

Ammar 5 years ago

As an Emirati, I do not want the UAE and the whole Arabian Gulf to be known as the destination of transgenders! Kuwait's decision is highly commendable and praiseworthy and honorable.