Manama: A man was sentenced to one month in prison followed by deportation after he was apprehended for wearing women’s accessories and makeup in Bahrain. The expatriate Arab was arrested by a police patrol as he was walking “in a feminine way” in the Bahraini capital Manama and attracted the attention of the servicemen.
He said that he worked in a women’s beauty salon and that his profession demanded that he always looked elegant and wore the latest fashion accessories to set a positive example for his clients.
The public prosecution was not convinced by the arguments and charged him with encouraging debauchery. He was subsequently referred to a court that ruled to keep him in jail for one month.
Cross-dressing is banned in Bahrain and in the other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states — Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Foreigners who are apprehended for their “unacceptable looks” in public are often jailed for a short period before they are sent home.
Local conservatives have regularly called for tougher measures against cross-dressers and gays, accusing them of spreading vice, particularly among young people.