Kuwaiti Muslim Brotherhood Objects To Government Plans to Extradite Brotherhood Fugitives

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Saudi media in the UK reported last month that Kuwait would soon be extraditing what were described as “eight wanted fugitives linked to the Muslim Brotherhood,” According to the Asharq Al-Awsat report:

July 15, 2019 Kuwait would soon extradite to Cairo eight wanted fugitives linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, security and legal sources in Egypt told Asharq Al-Awsat on Sunday. Last week, the Kuwaiti Interior Ministry said it has detained eight members of the outlawed group convicted of terrorism crimes and that it has decided to deport them to Egypt. However, the Ministry’s decision angered supporters of the Brotherhood in Kuwait, where the group mobilized on Sunday to defend its members. One of the leading figures to have attacked the Ministry’s measures was ex-Kuwaiti MP Nasser Al Duweila, who wrote on his Twitter page, “The Kuwaiti Interior Ministry’s decision to arrest members of the terrorist Brotherhood cell was an unsuccessful statement. We do not know those members or any of their activities in Kuwait.” Islamist MP Jamaan al-Harbash, who has received a prison sentence and has fled to Turkey, also condemned the Interior Ministry’s decision in several tweets.Another MP, Adel Al-Damkhi said, “The behavior of the Interior Ministry violates the Constitution.” However, Magdy al-Shafei, former director general of the Egyptian “Interpol,” told Asharq Al-Awsat on Sunday that “Cairo is bound by an agreement inked with Kuwait and several Arab states concerning wanted suspects and sentenced persons.” In January 2017, both countries signed in Cairo a legal and judicial cooperation agreement on civil, commercial, criminal and personal status issues, as well as on the transfer of individuals who have been sentenced to prison.Farouk al-Megrahi, a former Interior Ministry assistant told Asharq Al-Awsat that Kuwait is updating Egypt on the investigation into the cell’s members.“Cairo is aware of all developments and investigations in the case,” said Megrahi.The Egyptian official said that Cairo has sent evidence to Kuwait that the eight members were terrorists and that they have left Cairo illegally because of their involvement in violence.

In early June 2017, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Yemen, Egypt, the Maldives, and Bahrain all announced that they were cutting diplomatic ties with Qatar. Saudi Arabia severed all land, sea and air links with Qatar, and the UAE closed its airports and harbors to Qatari flights and shipping. According to a December 2018 Canadian media report, Kuwait has been playing the role of mediator in the conflict:

Kuwait maintains an important role in reuniting the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries amid the ongoing blockade of Qatar, Qatari foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al Thani said Saturday. “The (Kuwait) Emir has had a big leadership role in calming the situation which is highly appreciated by Qatar. We continue to count on the role of Kuwait and on the countries in the region to bring it back together,” the minister told attendees at the annual Doha Forum. Relations between the oil-rich states of the GCC have been fraught since Saudi Arabia, joined by Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, imposed an economic and diplomatic blockade on Qatar in 2017. Riyadh and its allies accuse Qatar of supporting terrorism, which Doha consistently denies.Kuwait, however, did not take part in the blockade. Its government maintains smooth relations with Doha and has made several attempts to mediate between Qatar and its Gulf neighbors to help quell the conflict — thus far to no avail.“Kuwait has shown willingness to play a diplomatic role in some of the most complex contexts in the region including Qatar and Yemen,” Cinzia Bianco, GCC analyst at London-based Gulf State Analytics, told CNBC earlier this month.

In July 2014, The GMBDW reported that Kuwait was planning to close three branches of the Islah Charitable Society, also known as the Kuwaiti Social Reform Association, a charity associated with the Muslim Brotherhood in that country. A Carnegie Foundation report identifies the Social Reform Society as “the formal organization associated with the Kuwaiti Muslim Brotherhood.”  The GMBDW had reported earlier that a Kuwaiti MP had called for the country to outlaw the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.

In November 2013, two Carnegie Foundation analysts posted an article that looked at the status of the Muslim Brotherhood in Kuwait.

(Note: Apparently, the individuals in question were in fact deported to Egypt last week. According to an Al-Monitor report:

August 4, 2019 CAIRO — Deputy Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Khaled al-Jarallah announced that Kuwait handed over to Egypt members of a Muslim Brotherhood cell who were arrested July 12. Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported July 14 that Jarallah said, “In accordance with joint agreements between the two countries, the Egyptian authorities were handed over those wanted by the Egyptian judiciary.” He deplored their presence in the Kuwaiti territories.

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