The Egyptian citizen who died in Kuwait on Saturday night was deliberately killed, the Egyptian Foreign Affairs Ministry said on Sunday as outrage continues to pour forth on social media over the rights of Egyptian expats.
The man was reportedly the victim of a vehicular homicide.
According to accounts circulating on social media, the deceased, Ahmed Atef Farghali — an Egyptian who works at an electronics store in Kuwait — refused to sell a video game console at a discounted price to a group of Kuwaiti citizens.
A fight then broke out, which escalated when the group of Kuwaitis allegedly ransacked the store, prompting other Egyptian citizens working nearby to come to Farghali’s assistance.
One of the Kuwaitis then fatally rammed Farghali with his car and fled the scene, according to the ministry statement.
The Foreign Ministry said the Egyptian consulate has intensified efforts to take legal action in the case, reporting it as murder.
According to a statement by the Kuwaiti Interior Ministry, the suspected perpetrator also ran over another Egyptian as well as a Kuwaiti citizen.
The other Egyptian is currently in the intensive care unit, the Foreign Ministry said.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid told the satellite channel Al-Hayah that the consulate insisted that the cause of death be listed as a murder in the police report.
He explained that it was a “normal fight” that escalated into a chase and resulted in three people being run over. He added that there were assaults and violations “from both sides.”
The Foreign Ministry said that Farghali’s body is being transported to Egypt and that the government will oversee all necessary procedures.
It added that it also intervened the stop the deportation of other Egyptians who were involved in the altercation.
Pictures and videos of the fight and Farghali’s lifeless body circulated on social media under the hashtag #قتلوا_المصرى (They killed the Egyptian), with users decrying the murder and calling for Egyptian expats’ rights.
The Foreign Affairs Ministry has been criticized in the past for overlooking rights of Egyptian expats, especially those living in economically strategic countries.
Anger also spilled over last month when a video circulated on social media showing three Jordanian men assaulting an Egyptian waiter. The Foreign Affairs Ministry issued a statement at the time saying its consulate in Aqaba was closely following the incident, and Egypt’s ambassador to Amman had contacted the head of the Jordanian parliament to demand that the perpetrators be brought to justice.
The waiter eventually agreed to a settlement with his attackers.