Kuwait: 'detect' gays by 'medical screening' at border

Top health official proposes measure to ban gays

08 October, 19:45

    Kuwait parliament [ARCHIVE MATERIAL] Kuwait parliament [ARCHIVE MATERIAL]

    (ANSAmed) - BEIRUT - The director of public health at the Kuwaiti health ministry has called for barring entry to gays at the border by identifying them through routine clinical screenings of foreigners coming into the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC), Gulf News daily reported yesterday.

    ''We will take stricter measures that will help us detect gays who will be then barred from entering Kuwait or any of the GCC member states,'' Dr. Yussef Mendkar told Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai. The proposal is to be floated at a November 11 meeting of health officials in charge of immigrant workers.

    Homosexual acts are banned in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the GCC member countries, as well as in Iran.

    In more liberal Lebanon, homosexual acts are punishable with up to a year in prison, although application of the law is elastic. Lebanese censors have banned French film ''The Stranger at the Lake'' by director Alain Guiraudie from the Beirut Film Festival because it has gay characters.

    Bahraini lawmakers have pushed for the adoption of tougher immigration measures against and prompt deportations of gays. In 2011, Bahrain arrested 127 people, mainly gays from the Gulf countries, for holding a fee-paying party in Hidd, a conservative village on Muharraq island in the north of Bahrain.

    The party was busted by an undercover cop after neighbors complained the music was too loud. In Kuwait, lesbianism is legal but homosexuality is punishable with up to six years in prison, with the sentence increasing to 10 years if one of the partners is under 21.

    (ANSAmed).

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