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Kuwait in crackdown on transgender people
January 28, 2014, 1:19 pm

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.

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