DNA Tests Will No Longer Be Mandatory for Everyone in Kuwait

Post by Mark

dnatesting

Back in 2015, Kuwait passed a law making DNA tests mandatory for all residents. Anybody who refused testing would end up facing a prison sentence along with a hefty fine. I obviously found this an invasion of privacy and made that clear in a number of posts on the blog, but some people were actually for this and were defending the decision. Thankfully, it doesn’t matter anymore, Kuwait’s Constitutional Court overturned the law ruling it unconstitutional.

This means the government will not be collecting DNA samples of every resident in Kuwait as well as tourists. Thank you to the lawyers who fought this law in the courts. If you want to read a bit more about this, Ars Technica has an article about it [Here]


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DNA Tests Only for Felons

Post by Mark

DNA testing will only be applied on convicted felons and no one else, HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah told Al-Jarida newspaper yesterday. Sheikh Sabah said that discussions on the issue of DNA testing, also known as DNA fingerprinting, were over, stressing that no tests will be applied on ordinary citizens. Recently, HH the Amir directed HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah to revise and reconsider the DNA testing law, calling on him and the government to apply constitutional standards on the proposed decree. [Source]

Besides the fact that it would have been invasive to our privacy, testing everyones DNA including tourists would never have been doable, feasible or manageable, so I’m glad thats behind us now.


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Kuwait Lawyers Fight World’s First Mandatory DNA Sampling Law

Post by Mark

Lawyers in Kuwait have issued a legal challenge to the only law in the world forcing citizens and visitors to give samples of their DNA to the government. [Source]

Thank god, I was starting to worry that everyone was OK with this.

via @SultanAlQassemi


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Kuwait to test tourists’ DNA before letting them in

Post by Mark

Kuwait is taking homeland security to new heights — or, as some see it — new lows.

Later this year, the Persian Gulf nation will require its citizens, temporary residents and tourists to submit DNA samples to a $400 million security database.

Kuwait’s National Assembly passed the law in July, a month after an ISIS suicide bomber killed 27 people and injured 227 in the country’s capital.
“We are prepared to approve anything needed to boost security measures in the country,” Jamal al-Omar, a parliament member, told Agence France-Presse.

The government will collect saliva and blood samples from anyone living there. Tourists will have to submit their own samples before entering the country.

Disobeying the law will cost you. Those who refuse to provide samples can face up to a year in jail and a $33,000 fine; falsifying DNA samples will result in seven years behind bars.

While the Kuwait’s department of criminal evidence insists that the database won’t affect personal freedoms, the law has sparked outrage. Some travelers tweeted that they won’t be returning to the country anytime soon. [Source]

This is going to be great for the local tourism industry.

Update: Newsweek has also posted about this [Here]

Visitors to Kuwait will also have to provide DNA samples to the government. When arriving by plane, visitors will stop at a center at Kuwait International Airport to have their DNA sample taken. Bruce Schneier, a prominent American privacy and cybersecurity specialist, says that the collection will likely be a standard cheek swab.

For citizens, the Kuwaiti government will have mobile centers to collect samples. Anyone faking the DNA samples faces up to a maximum seven years in prison.


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Human Rights Watch: Kuwait DNA tests violate right to privacy

Post by Mark

Many measures could potentially be useful in protecting against terrorist attacks, but potential usefulness is not enough to justify a massive infringement on human rights,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director. “I suppose videotaping every user of a public toilet could be useful too, but that kind of intrusion is hardly necessary or proportionate, and neither is compulsory DNA testing.

Human Rights Watch published a press release yesterday on Kuwait’s decision to capture every Kuwaiti citizens and residents DNA. In summary, it’s an invasion to privacy and doesn’t really do much in terms of security. Check out their press release [Here]


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DNA Tests Mandatory for Everyone in Kuwait

Post by Mark

dnatesting

In a move that will make privacy advocates cringe, Kuwait passed a law yesterday making DNA tests mandatory for all residents. According to the AFP, people who refuse testing will face a year in prison and a hefty fine.

The draconian law will establish a comprehensive database of all residents in Kuwait, presumably making it easier for law enforcement to track down criminals after the fact. The country’s 1.3 million citizens and 2.9 million foreign residents will all be affected. Roughly $400 million has been set aside to implement the national DNA database program.

Many countries, including England, Sweden and the United States, routinely store the DNA of convicted criminals. Kuwait’s program would be the first such mandatory DNA test for every resident of a given country, regardless of criminal history. [Gizmodo]

Not sure how I feel about this. Don’t think I’m allowed to have feelings on this anyway, it’s compulsory so if I don’t like it I’ll have to GTFO or else I’ll have to spend a year in jail.


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Kidnapping attempt foiled

Post by Mark

Bel Jerm El Machhoud is a Lebanese TV series similar to the US show COPS. Its a reality show that follows the Lebanese Internal Security Forces behind the scenes and in their recent episode they foil a kidnapping attempt of a Kuwaiti citizen. It’s not one of their most exciting episodes but it’s still worth watching. [YouTube]

Action starts at the 15:20 mark if you want to skip it all.

Thanks Camil


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Romain Jerome – Titanic DNA

Post by Mark

I am not a huge fan of Romain Jerome watches since their style isn’t to my liking but I do like the concept of their DNA series. The ones pictured above are part of the Romain Jerome Titanic DNA collection in which they’ve used steel from the actual Titanic wreck fused with steel from the shipyard in Belfast where the ship was built nearly a hundred years ago to create the rusted watch bezel. You’re literally wearing a part of history on your wrist. They have other DNA collections like the moon dust series in which the watch dial contains mineral dust from the moon while the steel contains fragments from the Apollo XI spacecraft. They even have a Eyjafjallajokull Volcano DNA watch!

Anyway while I was walking through Salhiya on my way to Leila for lunch I spotted the Titanic DNA series in the display window of a shop called Ghaddah in front of LV. I had only seen them in pictures before so it was cool seeing them live. I went in and asked their starting price and if anyone is interested they start at KD3,800 which isn’t too bad considering. Turns out Ghaddah is also the dealer for Richard Mille, now those are watches I really like…


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British soldier kidnapped by Muslim fanatics in Kuwait

Post by Mark

This is a pretty messed up incident. A British soldier in civilian clothing got ambushed by five guys in Kuwait City and then held captive. Luckily he managed to escape by jumping out of a first story balcony. [Article]

Update: According to Al-Rai newspaper the British government is denying this incident took place. Here is the article (it’s in Arabic). [Article]


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Attempted Kidnapping & Running Club

Post by Mark

Just read about how this girl nearly got kidnapped in Surra on Diigmaa’s blog. Pretty scary, you can read her post [Here]

Also just found out about the Six-K Club from what I have figured is a running club here in Kuwait. Seems pretty cool and you can find their website [Here]


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