A new counterterror law is imposing mandatory DNA tests on Kuwaiti citizens and foreign residents following a suicide bombing.
Parliament endorsed the law in early July, less than a week after an Islamic State Jihadist blew himself up in a Shiite Mosque in Kuwait killing 26 people and wounding more than 200 others.
The demand for nationwide mandatory DNA testing has been introduced as part of a new counter-terrorism measure, with enforcement of the new law being designated $400 million (US) in ‘emergency funding’.
DNA Testing Privacy
Human Rights Watch (HRW) have argued that this violates the right to personal privacy and urged that it should be amended.
Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at the New York based HRW said: “Many measure could potentially be useful in protecting against terrorist attacks, but potential usefulness is not enough to justify a massive infringement on human rights.”
She added: “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.”
The law will require Kuwaiti citizens, foreign residents and temporary visitors to submit DNA samples to a database that will be kept and operated by the Interior Ministry.
Kuwait DNA Database
The law affects all 1.3 million Kuwaiti citizens and 2.9 million foreign residents, imposing a penalty of one year in prison and up to $33,000 in fines for those who refuse to provide a DNA sample. Furthermore, anyone found to be providing fake DNA samples can face up to seven years in prison.
National Assembly Member Jamal al-Omar said: “We are prepared to approve anything needed to boost security measures in the country.”
A DNA collection database is not illegal and they have been justified at times as permissible for investigative purposes. However, they must also meet international privacy standards as it must be extensively regulated and proportionate to meeting a legitimate security goal.
We Respect Your Right To Privacy and Consent for DNA Testing
AlphaBiolabs follow strict procedures to ensure the confidentiality of all customer information and test results and only perform testing of those who have given their documented consent, in accordance with the relevant legislation such as the Human Tissue Act and The Data Protection Act.
Any report results or sensitive information about a case are password protected and no details will be given to third parties. We even use our own UK based laboratory, so there is not even a need to send the samples externally.
Please visit our accreditation page for more information about the strict guidelines and procedures we follow in order to be UKAS ISO 17025 accredited and also to operate ethically and confidentially.