Kuwait: End Police Abuse of Transgender Women!

According to a new report by Human Rights Watch, Kuwaiti police have tortured and sexually abused transgender women. Police have defended their actions by referring to a law passed in 2007 that criminalizes "imitating the opposite sex."

As a result of the law, transgender women not only face discrimination on a daily basis by members of the public, but they now also have to fear arrests and torture. Police can determine their own criteria for what constitutes "imitating the opposite sex"--in some cases, transgender women were arrested even while wearing "male" clothes because police said they had a "soft voice" or "smooth skin."

Arrested women reported multiple forms of abuse while in detention, ranging from verbal taunts to brutal beatings. In several cases, transgender women were forced into sex with police officers, who threatened to imprison them if they refused.

Sign now to urge the government of Kuwait to repeal the unjust law, to ensure the protection of transgender women from arbitrary arrest, and to hold police officers accountable for their brutal misconduct.
We the undersigned call on you to repeal the amendment to article 198 that criminalizes "imitating the opposite sex." Criminalizing an individual's gender expression violates the right to non-discrimination. Pending the repeal of the law, we ask you to issue a moratorium on arrests of individuals for gender expression. Further, we urge you to protect transgender individuals from police abuse and violence by ensuring proper monitoring of police behavior, including investigating police abuse and holding guilty officers accountable for their actions. 
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