Kuwait’s Interior Ministry says it has detained members of Egypt’s outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group convicted of terrorism crimes.
The statement published on Friday, in the state-run KUNA news agency, said that the individuals were detained but did not verify if it planned on extraditing them to Egypt.
It said members of the group had been convicted of terrorism in Egypt with some sentenced to 15 years behind bars. The interior ministry’s statement described them as fugitives who escaped Egypt to Kuwait, where they were arrested and interrogated by Kuwaiti security.
Kuwait, unlike Egypt and Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, has not branded the Brotherhood as a terrorist organisation.
In March, Malaysian authorities decided to deport four Egyptian Brotherhood members.
The Malaysian government found that the four Egyptians were sentenced to life imprisonment in violent and terrorism-related cases.
In January, Turkey deported a wanted Egyptian national back to Egypt, where he could face the death penalty.
The alleged Brotherhood member’s case, Mohamed Abdel-Hafiz, is the first known extradition of an alleged Brotherhood member from Turkey to Egypt.
Officials in Egypt say Abdel-Hafiz was sentenced to death in absentia in July 2017 following his conviction along with others for the 2015 assassination of Egypt’s General Prosecutor in 2015.
Ties between Egypt and Turkey have been tense since Morsi’s ouster. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly criticised the Egyptian government and has called for Morsi’s release from detention.
Egypt accuses Turkey of becoming a safe haven for Brotherhood members who fled Egypt.
The group is banned in Egypt, but many members have been welcomed in Turkey, where they have run satellite television and radio stations.
The group briefly held power in Egypt in 2012 before being ousted and swept up in a security crackdown.
Last week, Member of Parliament, Mohamed Zain, called on the new mayor of the Turkish city of Istanbul, Ekrem İmamoğlu, to hand over any Brotherhood members who are based in the city to Egypt as “a step toward eliminating the city from terrorists.”
Concerns are on the rise among Brotherhood members who are based in Turkey after İmamoğlu became a new mayor to Istanbul. The Turkish politician is a member of the republican party which is considered an opposition party to the current regime.