Muslim Brotherhood members must be in the UK to claim asylum in the country, a UK Home Office source has told Ahram Online.
An Egyptian newspaper reported yesterday that Muslim Brotherhood Secretary-General Mahmoud Hussain had applied for asylum in the UK.
It is believed Hussain fled to Qatar a few months ago.
He has reportedly instructed London-based lawyers to submit his asylum application to the Home Office.
The Home Office would not comment on individual cases but a spokeswoman said a person in Qatar, or any foreign territory, cannot apply for asylum in the UK.
“Asylum claims must be made from within the UK,” she confirmed.
A number of Brotherhood members have fled to the UK since the ouster of Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi – a longtime member of the group. London has said they are residing legally in the UK.
“To be recognised as a refugee, you must have left your country to the UK and be unable to go back because you have a well-founded fear of persecution because of your race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership of a particular social group,” the spokeswoman added.
The European Convention on Human Rights prevents the UK government from sending anyone to a country where there is a real risk that they will be exposed to torture, or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.