Kuwait on Friday announced that the men were detained on charges of being members of a “terrorist” cell linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and that they had been sentenced at home to up to 15 years in jail.
Kuwait’s Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled al-Jarallah said on Sunday that the eight people were returned to Egypt.
“The deportation of the men appears to violate Kuwait’s obligations under international law,” HRW said in a statement on Tuesday.
Sarah Leah, the Middle East and North Africa director at HRW, said, “Kuwaiti authorities have put at grave risk eight men who fled mass oppression in Egypt and thought they had found refuge in Kuwait.”
“It’s horrendous that Kuwait is acting at the behest of abusive Egyptian security agencies and returning dissidents to face torture and persecution,” she added.
The New York-based group also urged the Kuwaiti authorities to “end further deportations to Egypt of anyone facing mistreatment.”
Egypt outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood as a “terrorist organization” in late 2013 following the ouster of the country’s first democratically-elected president, Mohamed Morsi, through a military coup by the then-defense minister and now-President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
The Brotherhood, which fully supported Morsi, protested against the coup, but the pro-Morsi protests were brutally crushed in the August 2013 Rabaa massacre, in which hundreds of civilians were killed.