Policing Gender Gender and sexuality often become foci for broader anxieties in times of rapid social and political change. Even the questions they asked were ridiculous: In March I went to visit my friends wearing a tracksuit. According to Ghadeer, a year old transgender woman: Methodology This report is based on a two-week field visit to Kuwait City in February and a follow up visit in December I spent two days in detention. The state should allow those diagnosed with GID to change their gender in their legal identification papers. When I tried to object one of the policemen threw a stapler at me.
Indeed, the situation has become so dire that many transgender women said they live under what amounts to self-imposed house arrest to avoid the dangers that police and the broader public pose. One of them was yelling at me to come out or he would get a warrant to arrest me. Despite these legal requirements, 12 out of the 39 transgender women who had been arrested and whom Human Rights Watch interviewed said that police detained them illegally for more than four days, sometimes up to He asked if I would come with him to his apartment. All the women interviewed described some form of police abuse, at times rising to the level of torture, degrading and humiliating treatment, and sexual assault or harassment—although police deny mistreatment. While tribalists were anxious to keep their daughters obedient and marriageable, Islamists hoped to diminish female competition for jobs available to new graduates during a slow economy. The policeman went in the store and then approached my car. One day after leaving work, I found him standing right outside my office building waiting for me. Investigate all arrests under the amendment to article for procedural violations, including arrests in the absence of evidence, arrests without warrants, and forced confessions; and prosecute those responsible in accordance with the law. Police Abuse Against Transgender Women The evidence and statements gathered by Human Rights Watch from transgender women all contain similar and harrowing tales of abuse by police. When I pulled out my camera to take a picture of them they ran away. Even driving around the city can be perilous, with transgender women reporting that they risk police picking them up at numerous checkpoints on main highways and side streets. While there has only been one court decision in Kuwait to date granting a transsexual woman permission to change her gender in her legal identity papers from male to female, which was quickly overturned by a court of appeals, there is also no explicit legislation banning the procedure. A common complaint among transgender women is police blackmail for sex on threat of arrest, an act that constitutes sexual assault. That same year, she said a police officer followed her into a mall and threatened to arrest her: Khouloud spent two weeks detained in the Criminal Investigation Department never being brought before a judge—as required by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ICCPR —  without her parents knowing where she was, she said, and during which police regularly beat and sexually abused her: A man began following me in his car trying to flirt with me. The case was filed at the Hawally police station where a man reported that his eight-year-old daughter was molested by her Arabic teacher. Why would he torture her like that? I clean the streets from filth like you. Three Islamist MPs immediately protested, citing the Sharia rider that was passed with the electoral law. Of 16 female candidates who ran, four won, becoming Kuwait's first female lawmakers. Police summoned the representatives based on information provided by expatriates who obtained the licenses. They headed to the hotel with arrest warrants and arrested them. As a result, Dashti tabled an amendment demanding the rider be dropped. Before they were released, Ghadeer and her friends were forced to sign a declaration saying they would never imitate the opposite sex or be found in suspect places. After being arrested twice in the space of 18 months, Maha, 26, fears going out at all because of her own experiences and those of the transgender people around her:
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