Seventy-six gay men have been deported from Kuwait this year as the conservative Islamic government seeks to enforce anti-homosexual laws in the emirate. Twenty-two massage parlours have also been closed, according to the head of the country's morals committee.

The removals came after a nationwide crackdown on the underground massage parlour scene, Mohammad Al Dhufairi told the Kuwait Al Seyassah, as reported in Gulf News.

The men in the massage parlours were reportedly found with sex toys, women's underwear and make up used by the men.

Al Dhufairi said the committee were intent on continuing to root out homosexual practices.

"We have a zero-tolerance policy towards any morally objectionable activities and we will not be lenient with anyone who breaks the rules or puts the health of Kuwaiti citizens and residents at risk," he said.

Around 4.3m people live in the Gulf state - many of them migrant workers - under a semi-democratic system in which a parliament is elected but subservient to a government appointed by The Emir , Kuwait's monarch.

Homosexuality and cross dressing are illegal in Kuwait where the legal system is largely secular but has Sharia influences.

In 2016, it was reported that trolls were harassing young Muslim women in Kuwait who expressed pro-LGBT views on Twitter by reporting them to local authorities for blasphemy.

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Gay men can face up to 10 years in prison in KuwaitiStock

Rashid Al Azimi, an academic at Kuwait University, commended the crackdown and called for the closure of both male and female massage parlours that were found to be breaking the law.

"We live in a conservative country and, therefore, we should uphold specific morals," he said.

Convicted homosexuals could face up to 10 years in prison in Kuwait, if the engaged parties are under the age of 21.