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Kuwait MPs defend gay travel ban plan

Three Kuwaiti lawmakers have attacked Amnesty International for questioning their country’s proposed ban on homosexuals entering the country, saying the organization should abandon its advocacy for the rights of ‘deviants’
Kuwait's Bayan Palace
Photo by Chris Greenberg

A group of lawmakers in Kuwait have lashed out at human rights group Amnesty International for criticizing a proposal to introduce medical examinations to identify and bar homosexual or transgender foreigners from entering and working in any of the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member counties.

The lawmakers said that they expected the Kuwaiti Foreign Ministry to respond ‘in particularly strong terms’ to Amnesty, warning that they would bring the matter before parliament if they were not satisfied with the response.

Amnesty International said the proposal to subject people to medical examinations if they were subjected of being LGBT ‘was outrageous and should be rejected out of hand.’

‘Authorities in Kuwait should work to ensure that people are not harassed and abused because of who they are and repeal laws that criminalize sexual acts between consenting adults,’ Amnesty International Middle East and North Africa director Philip Luther said on 11 October.

However, in remarks first published by the Al Rai newspaper on Monday, MP Abdul Rahman Al Jiran said Amnesty International should abandon its defense of the rights of LGBT people

‘The decision to bar homosexuals from entering Kuwait is a sovereign decision,’ Al Jiran said.

‘Amnesty International should take care of lofty and noble goals for which it was established, leave aside homosexuality and deviations and stop defending delinquents. The organization should heed the annual rates of births outside the institution of marriage in Europe and abortions as well as the high rates of underage mothers and other moral crimes forbidden by all divine religions.’

MP Mohammad Al Jabri accused Amnesty International of promoting un-Islamic vices.

‘I condemn the brazen requests by an organization that introduces itself as a protector of freedoms and human rights,’ Al Jabri said.

‘The Ministry of Foreign Affairs should respond urgently to the so-called Amnesty International to highlight the noble Islamic principles, values and teachings in which the people of Kuwait believe and which reject the propagation of vice and debauchery in the community.’

‘The ministry’s response will be under the scrutiny of the National Assembly immediately after its release to ascertain the extent of its reaction to the offense perpetrated by the international organization and which is rejected by all Kuwaitis.’

Retired MP Mohammad Al Hayef accused Amnesty International of abandoning its mission statement by advocating for the rights of LGBT people.

‘Such statements cause a backlash against the organization,’ Al Hayef said.

‘It should have reinforced the slogan of human rights and the defense of the oppressed, not confuse issue[s] and interlace honey with poison so that one of its officials dares to encourage behavior that is against the human nature and clashes with the teachings of all apostles. Deviant behavior and attitudes undermine and destroy humanity.’

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