Kuwaiti police sweep cafes, arrest 215 people for being gay.
215 gay men and lesbians were recently arrested in Kuwait after an intense investigation of "Internet cafes and suspicious places" across the country, The Kuwaiti Times reported early Tuesday morning.
The news articles cited make clear that Kuwaiti police targeted gay-friendly locations, but also that the hundreds who were arrested were charged with a variety of offenses.
It was not clear than anyone was arrested on a charge that could be described as "being gay."
Kuwaiti law provides for sentences of up to seven years for sexual intercourse between men.
"215 homosexual boys and girls belonging to different nationalities were violators of residency law, drunkards, drug users, gamblers and people wanted in different criminal and civil cases."
A security source said 30 low rank officers took part in the campaign and some of the arrested persons are believed to be residence law violators and others wanted by law for committing petty crimes or on civil charges and yet others for gambling.
Kuwaiti law enforcement agencies often crack down on perceived immorality of many kinds.
With over two hundred people arrested, the raid appears to be largest in Kuwait in quite some time. A similar episode took place in May 2012, when 149 people identified by police as gay or transgender were arrested under suspicion of prostitution.
While the details so far remain thin, the arrests are far from unprecedented in Kuwait.
The country’s laws make homosexuality punishable with detention, and Kuwaiti police have a long history of investigating and jailing people thought to be gay.
In early May Kuwaiti officials detained 10 gay teenagers for practicing "Satantic rituals," and in April police arrested dozens of transgender Kuwaiti citizens.