Crackdown on gays proposed in Bahrain

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MPs in the Gulf state of Bahrain are calling for a range of measures to be taken against gay people in the country, including deporting foreigners suspected of being gay.

The country only held its first elections in 2002, and since then politicians have mainly addressed themselves to “moral” issues such as banning female mannequins from shop windows and tackling the widespread problem of “sorcery.”

The bi-cameral parliament is dominated by Shia and Sunni Islamist parties.

The foreign affairs, defence and national security committee has backed proposals to tighten immigration checks to stop foreign gay people entering the country.

“The Interior Ministry has told us that it already bans suspected homosexuals as they try entering the country from Bahrain International Airport,” committee secretary Jalal Fairooz told Gulf Daily News.

“They look manly as they come to the airport, but when they get in they return back to their unaccepted homosexual attitude.

“Homosexuals are found in huge numbers at hairdressing salons and beauty and massage spas, which the ministry regularly inspects.

“Those who look homosexual or offer customers personal services are being caught by police and taken to the Public Prosecution.”

Mr Fairooz said that homosexuals were a “threat to our society and Islamic values.”

The committee is also proposing that a study be carried out to ascertain how widespread homosexuality is in the country.

Gulf Daily News reports that “the Education Ministry claims there are no homosexuals in schools” in Bahrain.

The proposals will now be considered by the Bahrain parliament’s general-secretariat.

In 2006 a Kuwaiti tourist was convicted and fined for having gay sex with a Bahrain Defence Force (BDF) recruit.

The Lower Criminal Court in Manama handed the unnamed 23 year old man a 100 Bahraini Dollar fine after he was found naked in a car with a 22 year old Bahraini on the seafront.