UK government says members and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood are eligible for asylum

August 4, 2016

The UK Home Office released an internal policy document on Wednesday August 3, 2016 providing guidance on how to deal with asylum cases of Egyptian applicants perceived to be supporters or members of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB).

The document indicated that membership in or support for MB warrants asylum protection:

Those with a high profile in the MB or who have been politically active, particularly in demonstrations, may be able to show that they are at risk of persecution, including of being held in detention, where they may be at risk of ill-treatment, trial also without due process and disproportionate punishment. “

Additionally, high profile supporters or those perceived to support the MB, such as journalists, may also be similarly at risk of persecution. In such cases, a grant of asylum will be appropriate.”

The document, however, points out that:

low-level, non-political or inactive members and supporters are not generally being targeted and it is unlikely that they will be able to demonstrate a real risk of persecution. Each case will need to be considered on its facts.

This document comes against a backdrop of fierce repression faced by supporters of former president Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, from which he hails, in the aftermath of the July 3, 2013 military coup. Thousands of MB members and supporters have been killed, jailed and exiled following the coup against Morsi, led by his defence minister General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Morsi and hundreds others are facing the death penalty in cases denounced by Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International as ‘politically motivated’.

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