Kuwait’s health ministry has turned down a request by a doctor to set up a private clinic that issues forensic reports in cases of rape and sexual assaults. Health Minister Ali Al Obaidi said that the licencing committee had rejected the request «for its non-compliance with the regulations followed in granting licenses to open private clinics,” local daily Al Rai reported on Wednesday.
The minister, however, said in his answer to a query by MP Saud Al Haraiji that the request had been referred to the Ministry of the Interior. The lawmaker reportedly was following up on the request presented by the Assistant Director of Forensic Medicine at the Ministry of Interior. Rape and sexual assault cases are not very common in Kuwait, and when they do occur, they are widely reported in the local media.
A report published by the US State Department last year said that “There have been reported and anecdotal incidents of harassment and sexual assault of expatriate women.” Expatriates make up around two thirds of the total population of Kuwait.
Last week, Kuwait’s Court of Appeals has upheld a death sentence for a traffic police officer for kidnapping, raping and attempting to murder a Filipina. The officer was sentenced to death by a lower court in June after judges found him guilty of the charges levelled against him.