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Free Expression, Privacy Rights Violated

A Kuwaiti court has sentenced a transgender woman to prison for “imitating the opposite sex” online, Human Rights Watch said today. Such laws violate the rights to free expression, privacy, and nondiscrimination under Kuwait’s constitution and…
Maha al-Mutairi, a 40-year-old Kuwaiti transgender woman. © 2021 Maha al-Mutairi.
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Maha al-Mutairi’s Allegations of Police Abuse Go Viral in Kuwait

As Maha al-Mutairi, a 39-year-old Kuwaiti transgender woman, made her way to a police station last Friday night, she decided to post a video. Maha had been summoned by authorities for “imitating women” – the fourth time she has faced this charge…
The transgender pride flag.
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Failing Diplomatic Talks Show Need for a Different Path

(Geneva) – Almost three in every four people responding to a new poll in 10 European countries want their governments to work for an international treaty prohibiting lethal autonomous weapons systems, Human Rights Watch said today. At…
201911arms_robots_stunt
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Videos, Report Highlight Issues of Identity, Activism

(Beirut, April 16, 2018) – Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) activists from Arabic-speaking countries in the Middle East and North Africa are defying state-sponsored repression and social stigma, Human Rights Watch and the…
No Longer Alone
Report
Summary Every day I fear for my safety living in this country because of my sexual orientation. I am alive but if anyone ever find out and wanted to find out, they can kill me …I am an easy target for anything. —Peter, Dominica,…
News

Repeal Colonial-Era Laws

(Bridgetown, Barbados, March 21, 2018) – Discriminatory laws in Eastern Caribbean countries make lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people targets for discrimination, violence and abuse, Human Rights Watch said in a report…
Jason (pseudonym), a 40-year-old gay man from Barbados.
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Respond to Youth Demands, Gain Respect in the World

(Beirut) – Middle East and North Africa (MENA) governments can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…
Demonstration outside Parliament on December 6, 2016, with women in white dresses and wrapped in bandages, calling for the repeal of article 522 of the penal code.
News

Appoint Strong Experts, Press All Parties to Cooperate

Bombing and shelling of civilians. Denial of access to food and medicine. Landmines and cluster bombs. Torture and abduction. Child soldiers. For more than two years, international, regional, and Yemeni human rights groups called on the…
Saudi-led coalition aircraft struck three apartment buildings in Sanaa on August 25, 2017, killing at least 16 civilians, including seven children, and wounding another 17, including eight children. After an international outcry, the coalition admitted to
News

Lack of Transparency Underscores Need for International Inquiry

  (Beirut) – Members of the Saudi-led coalition have sought to avoid international legal liability by refusing to provide information on their role in alleged unlawful airstrikes in Yemen, Human Rights Watch said today. In 2017, Human…
Saudi-led coalition aircraft struck three apartment buildings in Sanaa on August 25, 2017, killing at least 16 civilians, including seven children, and wounding another 17, including eight children. After an international outcry, the coalition admitted to
News
Lydia Foy, a now-retired dentist, witnessed the end of her 22-year struggle this week as Ireland’s senate passed the Gender Recognition Bill, ground-breaking legislation that will make Ireland the fifth country in the world to allow identity-based legal…
Lydia Foy 2015-7
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Pride, joy, love and intense relief flowed around an Irish bar in New York City today as the official result came in on Ireland’s referendum on whether to guarantee in the constitution that everyone has the right to marry: “Yes to Marriage Equality” won…
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Government Should Continue to Bring Laws Into Line With International Standards

(Berlin) – The “yes” vote in Ireland’s referendum on May 22, 2015, will guarantee marriage equality and diminish discrimination against Ireland’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender citizens, Human Rights Watch said today  It is predicted…
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Early this year, as Ireland’s Gender Recognition Bill was debated in the Oireachtas, an official from the Department of Social Protection called the legislation “among the most progressive within the EU and beyond.” But is it really? This is Ireland’s…
News

Netherlands, Denmark, Ireland Improving Gender Recognition Laws

(Berlin) – The Netherlands, Denmark, and Ireland have moved to improve the rights of transgender people. However, each country retains some requirements that undermine the right of transgender people to have their identity reflected in law. On July 1,…
News
On a warm evening in late April 2013, I was sitting at a Starbucks in Kuwait City across the table from a thirty-one year old woman. Even though “Reem” had undergone male-to-female surgery almost a decade earlier, legal barriers prevented her complete…
Report
“They Hunt Us Down for Fun” Discrimination and Police Violence Against Transgender Women in Kuwait Glossary of Terms Map of Kuwait Summary…
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Law Against ‘Imitating the Opposite Sex’ Leads to Torture, Arbitrary Arrests

(Kuwait City) – Kuwaiti police have tortured and sexually abused transgender women using a discriminatory law, passed in 2007, which arbitrarily criminalizes “imitating the opposite sex,” Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The government…
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Moral panic over transgender men and women is symptomatic of the Gulf's problem with shifting gender roles

As women in the Gulf become more visible, both socially and politically, and as migrants bring with them different ways of living, the region's governments are stepping up their gender policing. To allay fears among conservative elements, they are…