Kuwait continues with 'morality' campaigns that also target LGBT people, and in particular the trans community, with at least 16 transgender women now imprisoned
A young transgender woman described as ‘mutashabeh’ (‘boy in women clothing’) was spotted and then arrested along with her mother by a police patrol in Salmiya, Kuwait city.
A security source cited in Al Rai daily said that late on Friday (21 December) ‘two police men of the Special Task Force of the Office of the Assistant Undersecretary for Security Affairs – Major General Mahmoud Al-Dosari, were in a routine patrol shift in Salmiya when they spotted a car that look suspicious, ordering it to stop.
‘While talking with the driver who seemed to look like a female they found out that he [sic] is young boy in a women’s dress, disguised as woman.’
The security source went on to describe how the young trans woman attempted to resist arrest and allegedly insulted the security men.
She also called her mother, who arrived at the scene within minutes, and tried to help her trans daughter escape. Nevertheless the security source stated ‘we were able to eventually control them and held them down’.
The mother, apparently, checked out as wanted for ‘a civil case’, the two were arrested and taken for investigation, the security source stated they will be ‘kept in detention till [the police] presses charges’.
This brings the total known number of transgender women being held in prison awaiting trial to sixteen.
Last month four transgender woman were arrested and detained by the Kuwaiti police.
The arrest of the young transgender woman is part of an on-going ‘morality’ campaign which also target lesbian, gay and transgender people.
The situation for LGBT people, and in particular transgender people has been progressively deteriorating since 2007, with this year in particular witnessing mass arrests.
On 10 December 2007, the Kuwaiti parliament passed a bill proposed by Islamic MPs that amended article 198 of penal code so that anyone ‘imitating the appearance of a member of the opposite sex’ could be jailed for up to a year or fined up to 1,000 dinars ($3,500 â‚¬2,800).
This law is causing substantial persecution and misery to transgender people in Kuwait which was slammed in a Human Rights Watch report published on 15 January this year criticizing arrests, torture and abuse of transgender people in the country.