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Kuwait in shock over death of Sharjah student beaten by 'friends'

Sharjah Police say two teenagers have been arrested and charged with assaulting University of Sharjah student Mubarak Meshaal Al Mubarak over 'three days'.

DUBAI // The body of Mubarak Meshaal Al Mubarak, the 19-year-old Kuwaiti who died after being beaten by his "childhood" friends on Monday, will be taken back to his home for burial.

Three uncles and a cousin of Mubarak, a first-year student at the University of Sharjah (UOS), have travelled to Dubai to take his body back to his family in Kuwait.

Sharjah Police said two teenagers, YS and HM, aged between 18 and and 19, have been arrested and charged with assaulting Mubarak over "three days." The case has been referred to Sharjah Public Prosecution.

"We are grateful to the judges and the authorities that they are releasing the corpse," said Saleh Al-Yaseen, director of cultural office at the Kuwaiti consulate in Dubai.

"There should not be any delay in burying the body as per Islamic traditions."

Mubarak, who had arrived in the UAE to study only two weeks ago, was taken to University Hospital Sharjah on Sunday by YS, who was also his roommate. However, he succumbed to his injuries later that evening. Police cited "personal and financial disputes" for the assault.

Mr Al Yaseen said Mubarak's death had sent shockwaves through the Kuwaiti community in the UAE and devastated Mubarak's family.

"This is a shock to everyone. The uncles said the three kids were together since childhood. Mubarak's aunt taught them in school. They were very close like family.

"The worst thing is for a small quarrel to come between students and to lead to someone's death. This is completely not acceptable in our society."

Mr Al-Yaseen said although YS was part of the Kuwati royal family, the "UAE laws would take its own course."

According to the consulate, Mubarak and YS, had driven to the UAE two weeks ago. Mubarak had enrolled at the College of Communications in UOS. HM had been studying in UOS for a year.

Mr Al-Yaseen said: "All the family wants now is to give him a proper burial and get justice and find the reasons for his death."

Kuwaiti students are required to notify their mission upon arriving in the UAE but Mubarak had not informed the consulate. There are about a 1,000 Kuwaitis pursuing higher studies in eight universities in the UAE.

According to Sharjah Police, the Criminal Investigation Department had received a report on Monday night from the officer on duty at the hospital that a Kuwaiti student was admitted to the emergency department.

"He was in a critical state but died later," said a media statement. "Clinical examination revealed he had various injuries all over his body."

YS, who brought Mubarak to the hospital, initially said he had fainted and fallen in a coffee shop in the Muweilah area of Sharjah.

But when officers asked him about Mubarak's injuries, he confessed that he and HM had beaten him intermittently during three days in their shared apartment in the Abu Daneq neighbourhood.

The undersecretary of Kuwait's Foreign Ministry Khaled Al Jarallah told Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai that the authorities are confident the UAE's police "are capable of getting to the bottom of this case. We have confidence in their professionalism and credibility and there is no need to send a police team [from Kuwait]."

pkannan@thenational.ae

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