Persecution of Homosexuals (Bahrain)

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Note that this page may contain news regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual, transvestite, and transsexual people (LGBTT)

Police crackdown on gay migrant workers. At least 2,000 gay Filipino workers will be deported

At least 2,000 Filipino homosexuals in Bahrain will be forced to come home in the next few weeks as a result of a police crackdown on illicit sex and prostitution, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration said yesterday.

OWWA Administrator Wilhelm Soriano received a report from the Philippines’ welfare officer in Bahrain that authorities there have issued notices of closure to some 500 commercial establishments while threatening to deport their Filipino gay employees. Beauty salons, massage houses, flower and tailoring shops and other establishments are included in the crackdown.

Just last month Bahrain deported foreigners suspected to be involved in the sex trade.

An OWWA employee who has worked in Bahrain, an Islamic state, said the vulgarity of certain gay people is offensive to the locals because it goes against their norms, culture and religious beliefs.

"In Bahrain, there is no separation of church and state like in the Philippines, and they do not recognize gay rights," the OWWA worker explained.

Soriano said the agency has yet to take action because not even the Philippine embassy in Bahrain or its labor attache has been formally informed. It appears the local authorities have merely sent closure notices to establishment owners and their workers.

OWWA will attempt to request the government to "take it easy" on the Filipino workers with the promise that they would admonish the gay community to behave. They might also ask for a six-month extension or until the workers’ contracts expire.

"Some shops owners and their gay workers have trooped to the Philippine embassy in Bahrain requesting that representations be made on their behalf for a six-month grace period to give Filipino gay workers time to complete their work contract and prepare for their return home. Others have gone to court to defer enforcement of the crackdown," Soriano said.
Bahrain Deporting 2,000 Gays from RP
Manila Standard, July 11, 2002

Cross-dresser arrested and charged with committing an immoral act (he was driving his car while dressed in female attire and make-up)

A CROSS-DRESSER who brought traffic to a standstill was arrested as he drove his car through Manama wearing women's clothes.

The man, identified only as a Gulf national, caused a commotion when a crowd of men gathered around his car, a Public Prosecution spokesman said yesterday

A police patrol approached the car because it was blocking the entrance to a side road and initially thought the driver was a woman.

Officers arrested him when they realised it was a man wearing makeup, a dress and a wig.

"When police went to find out what was happening, they saw a group of men surrounding a car with the defendant inside it," said the spokesman.

"Apparently, he was wearing make-up with red lipstick, a wig and a woman's dress."

He has now been charged with committing an immoral act and will remain in custody until his case goes to court.
Bahrain: Cross-dresser brings traffic to standstill
Sara Sami, Gulf Daily News, November 20, 2007

Nine Arab cross-dressers, heavily made-up and wearing "provocative" outfits, arrested at a hotel disco and charged with public debauchery

On New Year's Eve 2010, nine Arab cross-dressers were arrested and charged with public debauchery.

The police did not mention their nationalities, but said they were from different Arab countries and were arrested in a hotel disco in Manama.

The cross-dressers, heavily made-up and wearing provocative outfits, were soliciting revellers at the disco, according to the charges.
Cross-dressing man jailed for a month
Habib Toumi, Gulf News, April 5, 2012

127 gay people arrested in police raid for holding "depraved and decadent" party in the village of Hidd

Manama Bahrain has arrested 127 people, mainly gays from the Gulf countries, for holding a "depraved and decadent" party.

The revellers hired a sports hall in Hidd, a conservative village on Muharraq island in the north of Bahrain, and organised on Wednesday evening a fee-paying party that brought together gay men from the Arabian Gulf countries.

Most of the gays were between 18 and 30 years old and one Lebanese and one Syrian were among those arrested following the police bust, Al Ayam daily reported on Friday.

Neighbours, complaining about the late night noises emanating from the sports hall in the traditional fishing village, had alerted the police who sent a patrol to verify the claims at around 2.30am.

An undercover agent paid the 20 dinar entrance fee and was allowed into the hall where he saw dozens of cross-dressers drinking and smoking shishas. More patrols were called in and 127 people were arrested in the police swoop, the daily said.
. . .

Homosexuality is banned in Bahrain, like in the other five Gulf Cooperation Council countries, and foreigners arrested in relation to gay activities are deported after serving prison terms.
Bahrain arrests scores in raid on gay party
Habib Toumi, GulfNews, February 5, 2011

Cross-dresser arrested for walking down a busy road wearing a wig, shorts and mascara, jailed for a month. Lawmakers wary of the growing number of gays, pushing for a crackdown, including the deportation of foreigners

A cross-dressing Bahraini man has been sentenced to a month in jail.

The man was walking down a busy road wearing a wig, shorts and heavy mascara around his eyes when he was arrested by undercover policemen, according to the case file.

He was later charged with indecent behaviour and encouraging debauchery.

Homosexuality is banned in Bahrain, and lawmakers, wary of the growing number of gays in the country, have been pushing for a crackdown, including the adoption of tougher immigration measures and prompt deportations for foreigners.
Cross-dressing man jailed for a month
Habib Toumi, Gulf News, April 5, 2012