Kuwait’s moral committed deported 76 men from the country in a crackdown on ‘gay massage parlours’.
The mass deportation last month happened after authorities decided to have a ‘moral’ crackdown on homosexuality.
Mohammad Al Dhufairi led the raids which closed down 22 massage parlours suspected of being ‘hubs’ for homosexuality.
‘We have a zero-tolerance policy towards any morally distasteful deeds and we refuse to show leniency with anyone who breaks the rules or puts the health of Kuwaiti citizens and residents at risk,’ al-Dhufairi told Al Seyassah Daily.
Homosexuality is illegal in Kuwait, as is being transgender or ‘cross-dressing’. A person convicted of homosexuality could face up to 10 years in jail if they are under the age of 21. Sentences for people over the age of 21 carry a six-year prison sentence.
In a now infamous interview, an official at the Kuwaiti health ministry said in 2013 he wanted to invent a ‘homosexual detection system’. The system would keep gay men out of Kuwait and the other countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
A Kuwait University academic, Rashed Al-Azmi backed the deportation and the closure of the massage parlours. He said massages were allowed as a form of therapy but people were not allowed to take of ther clothes and touch the bare skin.
‘We live in a conservative country and, therefore, we should uphold specific morals,’ he told the Arab Times Online.