GCC countries (Source: Wikipedia)
It’s been reported that gay expatriates could be barred from coming into Kuwaiti and other neighbouring nations.
According to Gulf News, a senior Kuwaiti official has declared that medical tests may be used to “detect” homosexual foreign workers.
“Health centres conduct the routine medical check to assess the health of the expatriates when they come into the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Countries) countries,” Yousuf Mindkar, the director of public health at the Kuwaiti health ministry, was quoted as saying by Al Rai on Monday.
“However, 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.”
It’s unclear what kind of tests would be conducted, but forced anal examinations are used in a number of homophobic countries, such as Lebanon and Zambia, in a misguided effort to establish if a person has had anal sex.
Medical experts, however, say that these tests are inconclusive while human rights groups argue that they are a gross violation of people’s privacy and a form of torture.
Kuwaiti relies on around 1.8 million foreign workers, but earlier this year said that it plans to dramatically reduce this dependency. It also recently started limiting expatriates’ access to public health care and driving licenses.
GCC countries include Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, all of which outlaw homosexuality. Punishments range from jail time, fines, deportation, and even the death penalty.