Egypt says didn’t ask Kuwait to deport citizens over ElBaradei support

Egypt says didn’t ask Kuwait to deport citizens over ElBaradei support

CAIRO: The Kuwaiti government last week arrested and deported a number of Egyptian citizens working in the Gulf country. According to reports earlier this week, the 17 individuals were arrested and sent packing after the Egyptian government had requested their dismissal from the country and their return to Egypt.

However, Egypt is denying that it had asked the Kuwaiti government to deport the Egyptians who had come together to support top opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei as a potential presidential candidate in the 2011 vote.

The deportation of the Egyptians came after the group had announced on their Facebook group page a public meeting in support of the former International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief.

They arrived back in Cairo on Saturday and a protest occurred on Sunday in their name in front of the Kuwaiti Embassy here, but security was strong and barred most people from entering the area.

The Arabic Network for Human Rights and Information (ANHRI) said four more had since been deported.

“We had no idea of the matter at all and I do not think that the Foreign Ministry would go to brotherly Arab states to tell them to detain this person or that. This is refuted,” Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit told Egyptian television.

Local and international human rights groups have criticized Kuwait over the deportations. Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Kuwait was “enabling Egypt’s repression by harassing ElBaradei supporters.”

Aboul Gheit characterized the accusations that Egypt had asked Kuwait to act as “unacceptable and irresponsible” but did not say who had made the accusations. He said Egypt’s embassy was examining the issue.

Republished with permission from bikya masr