Kuwait sentenced a transgender woman to two years in prison for “imitating the opposite sex,” according to the human rights NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW), which on Thursday urged authorities to release her.
“A court sentenced 40-year-old Maha al-Mutairi to two years in prison and a fine of 1,000 Kuwaiti dinars (2,850 euros, 3,300 dollars) for having ‘abused telephone communications by imitating the opposite sex,’ “HRW said in a statement.
Kuwaiti law considers it a crime to “imitate the opposite sex” and, according to HRW, transgender women are abused by the police during their detention.
“These laws violate the rights to freedom of expression, privacy and non-discrimination guaranteed by the Kuwaiti Constitution and international law,” the NGO said.
Maha al-Mutairi was arrested several times in the past, all for the same reason, said her lawyer, Ibtissam al-Enezi. But the latest sentence is the “most severe” of all, he stressed. Your customer asks to be transferred to a female prison after being held in a cell with transgender detainees in a men’s prison.
Kuwait, an oil-rich state, has a reputation for being politically and ideologically more open than its Gulf neighbors, but society remains highly conservative.