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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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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
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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can respond to the popular demands of the region’s youth for reform by implementing five changes in 2018 to arbitrary, outdated legal systems that infringe upon citizens’ rights and liberties,…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

Leading Bahraini Rights Activist Sentenced to Two Years in Prison

(Beirut) – Gulf governments have sustained their campaigns to silence peaceful critics during the first half of 2017, Human Rights Watch said today, updating an interactive website, created in November 2016, featuring targeted human rights activists. On…
Portraits of online activists in Gulf states.
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…
News

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…
News

Submission to the 8th UPR session (May 2010)

Background Kuwait has improved its human rights record in some areas over the past few years, but needs to do much more. In 2005 the government decided to allow women to vote and run for office, but Kuwaiti women are still denied full citizenship…
News

Authorities Should Repeal Repressive Law, Free Detainees

New arrests show that Kuwait has resumed enforcing a repressive dress code that criminalizes “imitating the appearance of the opposite sex,” Human Rights Watch said today. It called on the government to investigate allegations of ill-treatment of people…
News

Arrests Target Transgender People

Authorities should immediately release more than a dozen persons jailed under Kuwait’s new dress-code law, Human Rights Watch said today. The law, approved by the National Assembly on December 10, 2007, criminalizes people who “imitate the appearance of…
Report
Human Rights Watch today called on Kuwait to revoke laws that discriminate against women and long-term non-citizens of Kuwait. In a report issued before the opening of the Kuwaiti National Assembly on October 28, Human Rights Watch also called on Kuwait…
News

Another Major Setback for Kuwaiti Freedom of Expression

Human Rights Watch expressed deep concern about a Kuwaiti court ruling sentencing two women novelists and a publisher to prison for publishing "indecent" writings. The January 22 ruling is the latest in a series of cases brought by Kuwaiti Islamists…