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The New Arab Staff

Kuwait hands over three alleged Muslim Brotherhood members to Egyptian regime

Kuwait has handed over Egyptian dissidents to Egypt before [Getty]

Date of publication: 12 October, 2020

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Kuwait has handed over three Egyptian residents of the country, alleged to be members of the Muslim Brotherhood to Egypt, where they could face torture.

Kuwait has handed over to Egyptian authorities at least three Egyptians resident in the country, after detaining them, the local Al-Qabas newspaper reported on Sunday.

The Egyptians were alleged to be members of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist movement that is outlawed in Egypt and its members liable to incarceration without trial.

Al-Qabas said that they had "launched an intense campaign among Egyptians [in Kuwait] to get them to violate public order and protest against their country’s government".

It added that the Kuwaiti State Security Investigations service had arrested the three men in the Farwaniya Governorate, south of Kuwait City, and subsequently handed them over to "Egyptian Interpol".

In 2013, the Egyptian military overthrew the country’s first democratically elected president, Mohammed Morsi, who was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The group was outlawed in Egypt shortly afterwards and thousands of Muslim Brotherhood members have been detained since then, many of them subjected to torture and ill treatment.

Some have even been sentenced to death or to long prison terms in trials condemned as "grossly unfair" by human rights groups.

Read also: Kuwait parliament endorses former intelligence chief Sheikh Meshal as crown prince

In Kuwait, however, a local affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood, known as the Islamic Constitutional Movement, operates openly and has seats in the country's parliament.

The handover of the three Egyptians to Egypt was part of "close coordination between Kuwaiti security authorities and their Egyptian counterparts regarding the exchange of criminals", according to Al-Qabas.

In May 2019, Kuwait also handed over eight alleged members of the Muslim Brotherhood to Egypt. The move was condemned by Human Rights Watch at the time, which said that they faced "serious risk of torture and persecution".

HRW said that the 2019 deportation was a likely violation of Kuwait's obligations under international law.

"It's horrendous that Kuwait is acting at the behest of abusive Egyptian security agencies and returning dissidents to face torture and persecution," Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW’s former Middle East and North Africa director, said in 2019.

Kuwait is party to the UN's Convention Against Torture, which prohibits the deportation of any person to a country where they may face torture.

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