Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 13 December 2019

Kuwait arrests eight wanted in Egypt for Muslim Brotherhood membership

The men were wanted by Egyptian authorities and had been sentenced back home

The skyline and central business district of Kuwait City. Getty Images/AWL Images RM
The skyline and central business district of Kuwait City. Getty Images/AWL Images RM

Kuwaiti authorities on Saturday arrested eight people sentenced in an Egyptian court for belonging to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

The eight men will be deported to Egypt, where some of the group have been convicted and sentenced to up to 15 years in prison, the state-run Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported.

The men had fled Egypt to Kuwait and local media reported that they had been operating a charity to fund the banned Islamist organisation.

“Investigations are still under to determine who helped them to hide and covered them up and collaborators with them,” the ministry reportedly said.

The Muslim Brotherhood is classified as a terrorist origination in Egypt and thousands of members have been arrested and sentenced since senior party official Mohamed Morsi was removed from the presidency by the military in the face of mass protests. The Brotherhood has been accused of carrying out terrorist attacks in Egypt.

Kuwait, unlike Egypt and Gulf states like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, has not branded the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization. The group has a local affiliate in Kuwait, the Islamic Constitutional Movement, who have taken part in local elections and there is also an associated charity arm. However, the group has come under increasing pressure given the prevailing anti-Brotherhood stance in much of the rest of the GCC region.

KUNA quoted the Kuwaiti Interior Ministry saying that during questioning the men admitted to carrying out terrorist attacks in Egypt. The report did not identify the men nor disclose the crimes they were sentenced for in Egypt and so it is unclear if the reported confessions relate to existing charges or new crimes.

The report also said the Interior Ministry warned it would “crack down ruthlessly against saboteurs”.

Updated: July 13, 2019 06:46 PM

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