UAE Expels 8 Kuwaiti Students for Forming Union

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The United Arab Emirates have expelled eight Kuwaiti students from two universities for forming a union, collecting donations and holding unauthorised meetings, an higher education official said.

The expulsion is a rare move against students from a fellow Gulf country.

Kuwait's al-Rai newspaper speculated that the students were expelled due to suspected links to the Muslim Brotherhood which is banned in the UAE.

The University of Sharjah and the University of Ajman have expelled the students for "violating the internal regulations of the universities," the official from the ministry of higher education said late Saturday.

The students were involved in "forming a student union with a permit from the administration at both universities, in addition to collecting donations and holding illegal gatherings in dormitories," the state news agency WAM quoted the official as saying.

"This represents a violation of UAE laws," the unnamed official added, without disclosing the identities or the affiliations of the students.

Kuwait's al-Rai reported on Saturday that the students were told they were "no longer welcome" in the UAE "on the assumption that they belong to the Muslim Brotherhood or similar organisations."

The expulsion comes amid a UAE crackdown on Islamists over the past two years.

Last month a court jailed 30 Emiratis and Egyptians up to five years for forming a Muslim Brotherhood cell.

It is not clear if the students will have to leave the UAE which, along with Kuwait, is a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council which grants GCC citizens unlimited residency in one another's country.

The other members of the GCC are Bahrain, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia

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