Kuwait has deported 76 gay men and shut down 22 massage parlours this year, the head of a morals committee stated.
The gay men were apprehended during nationwide campaigns aimed at enforcing the law regulating massage parlours, Mohammad Al Dhufairi told the Kuwait Al Seyassah daily.
The committee, made up of representatives from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour, the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Interior, and Kuwait Municipality, pledged to forge ahead with their crackdown. During the raids, the committee members found and seized sex toys, women’s underwear and makeup used by the men. “We have a zero-tolerance policy towards any morally objectionable activities and we will not be lenient with anyone who breaks the rules or puts the health of Kuwaiti citizens and residents at risk,” Al Dhufairi said.
Rashid Al Azimi, a staff member at Kuwait University, said he fully supported the committee’s action and called for the closure of both male and female parlours, found to be breaking the law. “We live in a conservative country and, therefore, we should uphold specific morals.”
Homosexuality and cross-dressing are against the law in Kuwait and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries—Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
In Kuwait, convicted homosexuals could face up to 10 years in prison, if the engaged parties are under the age of 21.