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Tue 15 Oct 2013 02:05 PM

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Kuwaiti MPs dismiss Amnesty fears over homosexuality tests

Lawmakers reportedly tell rights group not to interfere in plan to bring in new medical tests

Kuwaiti MPs dismiss Amnesty fears over homosexuality tests
Doctor, Healthcare

Several Kuwaiti MPs have reportedly criticised Amnesty International after the rights group demanded the Gulf state drops plans to bring in new measures to bar homosexuals.

According to the Kuwait Times, lawmakers demanded a response from the Foreign Ministry “with strong language”.

MP Abdurrahman Al-Jeeran was quoted as saying: “The decision to ban entrance of homosexuals is sovereign and one that the Amnesty International has no right to interfere with."

Last week, Amnesty said the proposed introduction of compulsory medical tests to bar migrant workers deemed homosexual or transgender from entering Kuwait was outrageous and should be rejected out of hand.

Al-Jeeran called on Amnesty International to “pay attention to the noble goals it was established for and put aside defending deviants and human garbage”.

Another MP, MP Mohammad Al-Jabri, reportedly added: "I was shocked like every other citizen in Kuwait by these calls, shameless demands, and blatant interference in the affairs of an Islamic state whose people are committed to the teachings and principles of sharia."

Al-Jabri demanded a response from the Foreign Ministry “that explains the high principles, values, and teachings of Islam that the Kuwaiti people believe in and prohibit the vice-spreading practices that the organisation demands”.

Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa director, said last week: “This proposal will only further stigmatise people who already suffer extremely high levels of discrimination and abuse on the grounds of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

“It is an affront to the fundamental human right to privacy and underscores the continuing persecution of individuals based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

“Instead of continuing to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex individuals, the authorities in Kuwait should work to ensure that people are not harassed and abused because of who they are and should repeal laws that criminalise sexual acts between consenting adults.”

Under the new proposal put forward, anyone deemed homosexual or transgender after the ‘medical test’ will automatically be prevented from entering the country.