Bioinformatics

Praised back in 2015, was a law new proposed in Kuwait requiring all citizens and visitors to submit samples of their DNA.

However, New Scientist reports, the law have been revoked after being challenged last year by lawyers in Kuwait. The country’s Constitutional Court ruled that the law violates the constitution’s guarantee of personal liberty.

Adel AbdulHadi of the firm Adel AbdulHadi & Partners, explained, “We have prevailed. I’m proud to have taken a part in this challenge, and very pleased to have worked and succeeded in a case which is of high importance to maintain the principles of privacy and human civil rights.”

The initial introduction of the law was to allow identification of potential terrorists, but fears arose that any law mandating collection of DNA from all citizens could be abused. Moreover, there was a potential violation of the personal privacy of all 3.5 million Kuwaits and their visitors, it could reveal unwelcome paternity issues, AbdulHadi’s team argued. As a result, anyone refusing to yield their DNA would have faced up to a year in jail or a large fine.

In a statement, the European Society of Human Genetics, added, “If the law had been brought into force, Kuwait would have been the first country in the world to require the compulsory collection of DNA samples from all citizens. We hope that other countries considering going down the road will take note of this decision.”