Kuwait Law: Indecent Acts

Post by Fajer Ahmed

A video of youngsters kissing in a car went viral yesterday and controversy followed. Information on the youngsters names, job positions and even stuff about their families started spreading between people. I am bitter, I think if you do see something that might harm a person’s reputation or get a person in legal trouble then DO NOT SHARE!

Lets look at Article 198 from the Kuwait Penal Law,

“Any person who makes an indecent sign or an act in a public place in such a manner that he is seen or is heard by whoever is in a public place, or he imitates the other sex in any form of forms, shall be punished with imprisonment for a period that shall not exceed one year and a fine that shall not exceed one thousands Dinars or by either of the penalties”

The Article is very vague and includes a variety of acts as crimes. Let us break it down:

1) “an indecent sign or an act in a public place” – this means anything from making out, to giving the middle finger, to writing a swear word, seriously who decides what is indecent?

2) “in such a manner that he is seen or is heard by whoever is in a public place” – so it doesn’t have to take place IN the public place as long as it could be seen/heard FROM a public place, so basically in your car, your office if the windows are open and your not private twitter account are all applicable.

3) “he/she imitates the other sex in any form of forms” – and who decides this too? Its 2013, products are turning unisex, seriously me and Mark have the same purple shorts.

What they did was not smart but let us just hope that they just get fined, and I quote Mark – “that’s excitement in Kuwait for ya”

Post by Fajer Ahmed – Legal Counsel
Have a Kuwait law related question? Email me at ask@fajerthelawyer.com

The legal opinions expressed in this post are those of the author Fajer. Opinions expressed by Mark or any other writer on 248am.com are those of the individual’s and in no way reflect Fajer’s opinion.

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28 comments, add your own...

  1. q8expat says:

    Lol – that’s excitement in Kuwait for ya

  2. meh says:

    Mark needs to shop at Mens stores.

  3. pickles says:

    They are getting what they asked for, publicity. you don’t share your videos on the internet and ask people not to gossip about it. If the video was stolen somehow from their smartphone, thats a different story.

    I don’t understand why at the end of your post you hope they get fined ? that’s mean lol

  4. Bla Bla Theory says:

    Mark wears purple shorts :) that is something we can talk about when Kuwait is bored :)

  5. Nnnn says:

    Ok i dont get it..the video i saw in marks previous post where a bunch of guys (not girls) acting silly….so y is it a big deal…they didnt even really kiss :/

  6. Dee says:

    indecency is people’s reaction towards the video, no one should spread this people are free to do whatever they want, and this law is just one of the none sense laws here.

  7. Ray says:

    I am shocked that the video caused so much controversy. I understand Kuwait is conservative, but the video was far from sexual and its sad to see the people having their lives ruined by such a PG rated flick.

    • 3azeez says:

      Who said their lives ruined? Its funny to say or think that.
      The people who kissed and spreaded the video probably don’t care how any of us think. They will not be punished by law because there is no law to punish them with. You’ve read what Fajer just said, and all of that will not apply on those three “kids” for soooo many reasons.

      Yes people in Kuwait are shocked for seeing this for so many different reasons depending on the kind of people seeing it… Some people in Kuwait would not allow their girls out without head over, others would not allow their girls out with guys, others would not allow their daughters to kiss their boyfriends, others would not allow their girlfriends to act like like in the video and so on.

      Kuwait is really diverse, and our laws do take into consideration our diversity. Thats why nothing will happen to them, and their lives are not ruined and people don’t give a damn about what others think of them. This is not Saudi Arabia or other country in the Gulf.

    • Sadeq says:

      What controversy? Their lives weren’t ruined by this.

      There is no actual law to punish them and most people are laughing about this because these kids are so immature.

    • lol says:

      Did you actually see the video? It was somewhat sexual and it didn’t cause actual controversy.

      No one’s life was ruined.

      No one’s life was harmed.

  8. q80 says:

    We all know that the video is nothing compared to what happens in reality. No law or order can stop people from doing these stuff whether we consider it right or wrong.

    But in this case the video went viral, and that is the point, which is the video of the act spreading is wrong.

    I guess the person responsible for spreading the video will be punished for spreading inappropriate acts and I don’t think anyone will be punished for the act itself although I find it inappropriate myself.

    • 3azeez says:

      “But in this case the video went viral, and that is the point, which is the video of the act spreading is wrong.”

      You’re missing one major point…
      Those people in the video intended for it to be spread around and people spreaded it because they knew it was meant to go around.

      Trust me, Kuwaitis are very well understanding of when it comes to reputation and they are very cautious when it comes to spreading things that could ruin someone reputation or dignity.

      You and everyone else probably aware of some of the nasty videos that surface every once in a Kuwait that are far much more shocking and interesting in comparison to that video. They don’t go viral because people don’t want to hurt each others. However this one was a public joke shot in a moving car in the street on broad day light by a girl talking to the camera and telling the viewers to see what she’s doing.

    • Sam Parker says:

      “No law or order can stop people from doing these stuff whether we consider it right or wrong.”

      Yup, but it can complicate and make the lives of whomever goes against it very difficult.

  9. Izzyq8 says:

    Just a personal opinion.

    You say that the video should not be shared. I disagree due to the following:
    1. There are certain videos that are really private where its not aimed at anyone but rather for personal use and memories. Those are leaked and those i agree should not be shared. The original video is obviously intended to be sent to someone. And that person sent it to everyone. To me it seems like it was sent to spite the people in the video which makes me believe that the video was maybe sent to an Ex or someone else.

    2. Private videos should not be sent AT ALL TO ANYONE NO MATTER WHAT. we live in the 21st century where it is extremely easy to spread videos. People seem to forget about this and therefore you should be extra careful.

    Just two question cause its still not clear to me:
    1. Technically its a video, can that still be punished by law?
    2. rumors spreading that the girls family will be suing the man. Is there a basis for this?

  10. jason says:


  11. Neo says:

    The Hulk wears Purple Shorts… ;)

  12. http://news.kuwaittimes.net/fire-lips-video-goes-viral-man-found-in-ladies-restroom/?output=html&androidapp=1&webapp=1&ap=1&wizi_ver=2.0.9

    this is an article in Kuwait Times in the crime section saying the police are looking for the people in the video to arrest them..im assuming the video they are referring to is the same one being discussed here?

  13. Moayad says:

    Something doesn’t make sense to me. The video showed people in a car, that car could be anywhere, including inside a private property, how is that ‘a public place’ for sure?

    Second, didn’t you write in a previous post that an indecent act should be witnessed by a police officer in order to be punished by law? Or is that a different matter?

    Third, the article minsioned above, as I understood it, states that the act should be committed in a public place AND could be seen or hearted from a public place! Read it again and correct me if I’m wrong. So if they actually were driving in a private place it doesn’t matter if people see or hear them.

    Fourth, for all we know this video could be shot anywhere in the word! I mean they could claim that they were in a car in Amesterdam when they did it. Would that make it a crime? Can the Kuwaiti law punish anyone from anywhere who has an indecent video of him/herself? If so a lot of people would be in trouble if they come to visit Kuwait… a lot!

    I am not a lawyer and did not study law, but I’m just trying to think about the matter rationally.

  14. I'm a candy says:

    I’m more excited by the fact that I’m getting a new camera :P
    Why doesn’t kuwait allow celebrities to come and perform here? *asks with blunt expression*

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