Manama: Kuwait has deported 19 Egyptians after they reportedly broke the law and raised funds for two Egyptian political parties. The Egyptians were flown home on Monday afternoon despite attempts by Egyptian diplomats to halt the process and have the Kuwaiti authorities reverse their decision. The Egyptians, 19 adults and one young man, were arrested on Friday in Kuwait City for reportedly raising funds without applying for a permit.
Under Kuwaiti laws, illegal gatherings and fund-raising activities could result in deporting foreigners found guilty. Reports in Kuwait said that some of the detainees admitted they were raising funds, but insisted that they were to help orphan children in Egypt.
Witnesses claimed that the Egyptians wore shirts with the logos of two political parties during their gathering. However, Wael Jad, the Egyptian general consul said that the 19 were arrested as they celebrated the Islamic New Year at the Green Island without permission. The Egyptian foreign ministry said that the detainees had gathered to celebrate the new year following an open invitation posted on Facebook. Kuwait and other Muslim countries marked the beginning of the Islamic lunar year on Thursday.