Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah instructed the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah to reexamine the DNA law in accordance with Kuwait’s constitution and in a manner that safeguards privacy rights and serves public interests.
The Emir is not the first to question the constitutionality of the DNA law. The controversial law, that would require all citizens, expatriates, residents and visitors to provide a DNA sample to the government’s database, has increasingly been challenged by local law experts and citizens for violating constitutional rights. The Constitutional Court now announced to hear these challenges on December 21.
The law, which would be the first of its kind in the world, has also attracted attention from international Human Rights Organisations that have reached out to Kuwait’s government to amend or cancel the law, saying it violates the right to privacy.
Despite Kuwaiti officials insisting the law will be used for security purposes only, citizens fear it would be used to strip Kuwaitis of their nationality and to expose extramarital children, which is considered a crime that is severely punished in Kuwait.
Sources: Middle East Monitor, Arab Times, Arabian Business
Read more on Kuwait’s DNA law:
- Political activist urges government of Kuwait to cancel DNA testing (14th October 2016)
- Kuwait constitutional court may have to determine risks of DNA law to privacy (17th September 2016)
- When blood determines your right to citizenship, free education & healthcare (25th August 2016)
- UN Human Rights Committee urges Kuwait to amend DNA testing law (16th July 2016)
- Kuwait will require all tourists to provide DNA samples (28th April 2016)
- Human Rights Watch says Kuwait needs to narrow its DNA testing law in order to meet international privacy standards (23rd February 2016)
- Kuwait to be the first country with mandatory DNA testing for all citizens (24th January 2016)
- New Kuwaiti passports require DNA profiling (16th December 2015)