Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 8 December 2019

Kuwait extradites eight men to Eygpt for links to Muslim Brotherhood

The men fled Egypt to Kuwait after being sentenced to 15 years in prison

A general shot of Kuwait City. Andrew Henderson / The National
A general shot of Kuwait City. Andrew Henderson / The National

Kuwait on Monday handed eight members of the Muslim Brotherhood to Egyptian authorities.

The Muslim Brotherhood is classified as a terrorist organisation 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 in 2013.

“The men have been handed over to Egyptian authorities under joint bilateral agreements between the two countries,” Kuwaiti deputy Foreign Minister Khalid Al Jarallah said, according to the state-run Kuwait News Agency (KUNA).

Mr Al Jarallah expressed “deep regret” that the men had fled Egypt to Kuwait after being sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Local media reports claimed they belonged to a “terror” cell that has close links to the Brotherhood.

During their time in Kuwait, they had opened a charity to fund the organisation, according to reports.

The Kuwaiti interior ministry said investigations were ongoing to discover other cell members.

The ministry warned it would “crack down ruthlessly against saboteurs”.

"We will not tolerate anyone who has any association with this cell, or any terror groups that are trying to create instability in our country," the ministry said in a statement.

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 former Egyptian interior minister, Maj Gen Farouq Al Megarhi said that the men had fled to Sudan then Turkey before settling in Kuwait.

"These cells seek refuge in places that has underground cells that are associated with the Brotherhood," Maj Gen Al Magarhi said.

He warned Kuwaiti authorities to "take caution" against groups that are linked to the Brotherhood.

Kuwait, unlike Egypt and Gulf states like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, has not branded the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation.

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.

Updated: July 15, 2019 07:31 PM