Kuwaiti police have busted a “wild party” and arrested 23 “cross-dressers and homosexuals” at a chalet in the south of the country on Sunday.
“The vice police received a tip about the party and a warrant was issued by the public prosecution to take action against the cross dressers and homosexuals,” a security source told local daily Al Rai.
“The police encircled the chalet to make sure no one escaped and proceeded to arrest the people participating in the party. Some of them tried to escape by using the backdoor of the chalet and heading to the sea, but they were caught,” the source added.
The daily said that investigations revealed the party was exclusively for "cross-dressers and homosexuals" who would face the charges of "engaging in immoral activities."
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) rights receive no protection in Kuwait and homosexual acts between two male adults can result in a six-year prison sentence, though there are no laws against sexual acts between two women. Cross-dressing is also illegal.
In 2013, Public health official Yousuf Mindkar announced the introduction of a screening process at Kuwait's International Airport to prevent LGBT expatriates from entering Kuwait or other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
“Health centres conduct the routine medical check to assess the health of the expatriates when they come into the GCC countries,” he said.
“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."
The same paper later showed the minister appearing to backtrack on the move saying it was a “mere proposal.”
“It may or may not be accepted,” he said.
“The debate will reflect the keen interest of the GCC countries in human rights, taking into consideration the teachings of our religion and international agreements.”
Some suggested that concerns over the hosting of the FIFA 2022 World Cup in Qatar, and the potential controversy that would ensue were fans to be screened, may have led to the backtrack.