Police abuse against transgender women in Kuwait

According to Human Rights Watch, transgender women have been tortured and sexually abused by police under an overtly vague and discriminatory law, article 198, which was instated in 2007. The discriminatory law criminalizes the “imitation of the opposite sex.” Because the law is enacted, police are not held accountable for their actions and they are able to determine what constitutes “imitating the other sex.”

This needs to be repealed and every police officer who tortures and sexually abuses transgender women need to be held accountable for their appalling actions.

Kuwaits current policy violates international laws such as the right to not be discriminated against, freedom of expression, equality before the law and many other rights.  For this reason, Kuwait needs to held accountable for violating such a provision, too.

Transgendered individuals should enjoy every right any other person has. They should not be treated differently because they look “different” or because others do not understand them.  People were created in all shapes, sizes, colors, forms etc for a reason.  God created a world where people are all different for a reason.  We need to embrace everyone’s differences, not torture and shun them for it.

The violation of human rights, especially ones so sacred as self-autonomy and privacy cannot be tolerated.  Those who partake in such awful acts need to be held accountable, and those who suffer such awful acts need to be compensated.

Transgendered individuals are humans- just like you and me- and they need to be treated with the same standard of dignity that you or I would expect.


About Haley Behre

I graduated from Syracuse University in December 2011 with majors in newspaper journalism and women and gender studies. Using these majors, I aspire to become a journalist who writes about human rights issues. I have held internships at the Syracuse New Times, Dash Media PR Firm, Syracuse Post-Standard and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. I also had an internship at the Not For Sale Campaign Syracuse chapter, which is a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating human trafficking. I was born in Seoul, Korea on September 30, 1990 and moved to the United States before I was one year old. When I was 8, my family and I moved to Norwich, England for three years. While I was here I was immersed into a new culture and got to experience many things other children my age do not get to. Over the three years, I visited Ireland, France and the Netherlands several times, and Belgium, Wales and Sweden once. In the winter of 2010, I got an amazing opportunity to visit Kenya for a month. This was by far the single most eye-opening experience of my life thus far. The natural beauty of the landscape and its people do not compare to anything I have seen. I currently intern for the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press in the hopes of getting a full-time job at a newspaper or non-profit after.
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