Turn on the light in China’s prisons

Press release
Stockholm , 15 June 2011

Turn on the light in China’s prisons

– China’s many political prisoners do not deserve to be forgotten in dark and unknown prisons. Sweden is directly involved in this asylum case and should stand up for human rights. When the UN fails, Sweden must have the courage to stand up against dictatorships methods.

Said Annelie Enochsson, Member of Parliament for the Christian Democrats, as she submitted a written question to the Swedish Minister for Foreign Affairs Carl Bildt. Annelie Enochson demanding Swedish concern into what happened Ershidin Israel.

– History teacher Ershidin Israel had witnessed the brutality of the Chinese regime against its Uighur compatriots and fled on foot over to Kazakhstan. Once granted the status by the UNHCR as a refugee, he was to be resettled in Sweden.

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China/EU: Rights Dialogue Needs Clear Results

Human Rights Watch (HRW), 15 June 2011

(New York) – The European Union should set clear and public benchmarks for progress on human rights in China during their human rights dialogue in Beijing on June 16, 2011, Human Rights Watch said today. If the EU does not press for specific results, it will effectively mean that it has surrendered to Chinese government efforts to limit international public scrutiny and discussions about its human rights record, Human Rights Watch said.

“From the Chinese government’s perspective, these human rights dialogues are a means to limit and isolate any discussion about its dismal human rights record at relatively low diplomatic levels,” said Sophie Richardson, Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. “The EU has gone along with the script, largely treating the dialogues as business-as-usual talk shops, despite the Chinese government’s escalating crackdowns, detentions, and disappearances of activists.”

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Society for Threatened Peoples Raises Uyghur Issue at UN Human Rights Council

On 6 June 2011, WUC Project Coordinator Jana Brandt delivered a statement on behalf of the Society for Threatened Peoples (www.gfbv.org) during the general debate on item 3 at the 17th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, speaking about the ongoing violation of Uyghur´s freedom of expression as well as the recent extradition of the Uyghur refugee Ershidin Israel from Kazakhstan to China .

Video of the intervention:


Following the full statement:

“The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) welcomes the report (A/HRC/17/27 and A/HRC/17/27/Add.1) of the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression, Mr. Frank La Rue, in which he recognizes the criminalization of legitimate expression through the imprisonment of bloggers around the world. He highlights the situation in China with at least 72 imprisoned blogger at the end of 2010 and one of the world´s most sophisticated and extensive systems for controlling information on the Internet.

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Press Release: Freedom House Condemns Kazakhstan’s Decision to Deport Uyghur Refugee

Washington, 2 June 2011
Contact: Mary McGuire  202-747-7035

Freedom House condemns Kazakhstan’s decision to deport Ershidin Israil, a Uyghur schoolteacher who fled China in the summer of 2009 after ethnic riots in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

Israil has been designated a refugee by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).  Chinese authorities accuse him of “terrorism” for speaking out about the death in custody of a fellow Uyghur at the hands of Chinese security forces. Media reports indicate that Israil is now in custody and his deportation imminent.

“It is unacceptable that a person who has been accorded refugee status by the UNHCR should be forced to return to a country where he is likely to face harsh treatment and possibly torture,” said David J. Kramer, executive director of Freedom House. “The Kazakh authorities have an international obligation to grant protection to those who seek refuge in their country and it has shamefully shirked its duty. The UN should further investigate Mr. Israil’s case and reform its own procedures to more fully protect refugees from these types of situations in the future.”

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SCO Member State Kazakhstan’s Return of Uyghur Refugee to China Demonstrates Disregard of International Human Rights Obligations

Human Rights in China, 1 June 2011

Human Rights in China (HRIC) is extremely concerned over reports of the deportation of Uyghur refugee Ershidin Israil to China from fellow Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member state Kazakhstan.

Israil fled to Kazakhstan in late September 2009, in the wake of the July 2009 Urumqi riots in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. He was initially granted refugee status by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Almaty, Kazakhstan in March 2010, and was scheduled to depart for resettlement in Sweden on April 1, 2010. However, Kazakhstan authorities denied Israil’s application for an exit visa and arrested him on June 23, 2010. In May 2011, a Kazakh court denied his application for political asylum.

Deportation of Israil by the authorities of Kazakhstan – which currently holds the rotating presidency of the SCO and will host the upcoming tenth anniversary “Jubilee Summit” of the organization – raises serious questions about the impact of the SCO framework on respect for human rights. Pursuant to SCO agreements, Kazakhstan is obliged to extradite individuals accused by another member state government of “terrorism,” “separatism,” or “extremism,” and to “prevent the granting of refugee status and corresponding documents” to persons alleged to be involved in offenses related to terrorism.

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Uyghurs should be treated according to international norms both at home and elsewhere. Kazakhstan must stop Ershidin Israel’s extradition to China

Press Release – for immediate release
31 May 2011
Marco Perduca  marco.perduca@senato.it
Nonviolent Radical Party Transnational and Transparty www.radicalparty.org
Tel:(+39) 06.689791

Statement by Senator Marco Perduca, co-vicepresident of the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty:

“The ordeal of Ershidin Israel, a Uyghur currently in Kazakhstan, who for some time has enjoyed the protection of the UN High Commissioner for Refugee, seems to have reached a tragic end: deportation towards China. For reasons that remain unknown to the public Mr. Ershidin has been stripped of the status he was granted by UNHCR and will therefore be handed over to Chinese authorities by the Nazarbayev government soon. As the many precedents tell us, Uyghurs, once back in China, suffer harsh prosecution if not executions.

Kazakhstan, that recently was elected as rotating president of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe should know that it is bound by international obligations to uphold the treaties it has ratified and therefore should not consign Ershidin Israel to China.  In fact, not only China is still lagging behind in recognizing the entirety of the international instrument of human rights, but continues her campaigns of systematic persecution of ethnic groups other than Han.

At the same time I urge UNHCR to clarify once and for all the status of Mr. Ershidin vis-a-vis the Geneva Convention so that he can be eventually transferred to a country that has a record of not caving in to Chinese pressure when it comes of protecting the human rights of the Uyghurs.

The Nonviolent Radical Party and the World Uyghur Congress will take part in the current session of the UN Human Rights Council and will not fail to raise the issue in the next days.”

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Amnesty International: Long-standing Uighur grievances behind repeated protests must be addressed

Amnesty International
Press Release
AI Index: ASA 17/006/2011
4 February 2011

February 5 marks the 14th anniversary of a violent crackdown on peaceful Uighur protesters by security forces in the city of Gulja (In Chinese: Yining), in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in China’s far-West. On 5 February 1997 dozens of people were killed or injured in Gulja when security forces opened fire on Uighur protesters. The Uighurs had begun a peaceful protest against the banning of “meshreps”, a traditional Uighur form of social gathering, the closing of a Uighur football league, high unemployment among Uighurs, and the closure of religious schools. Many dozens were killed and injured, and potentially hundreds in the ensuing days according to unconfirmed reports. In the government crackdown, thousands were detained, many hundreds disappeared, and there were reports of executions after unfair trials.

Security forces cracked down violently again on 5 July 2009 when Uighurs in Urumqi began a peaceful protest, this time about perceived government inaction over beatings and killing of Uighur migrant workers by Han Chinese in Shaoguan, in the southern province of Guangdong, in June 2009. Violent clashes between ethnic groups and Han Chinese ensued, leading to hundreds of deaths. In the crackdown that followed, as in Gulja, thousands were detained, hundreds imprisoned, and dozens sentenced to death and executed after unfair trials.

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Fourteenth anniversary of the Ghulja Massacre

Rafto Foundation, 03 February 2011

Fourteen years ago on 5 February 1997 hundreds of Uyghurs were killed or imprisoned after participating in a peaceful demonstration in the city of Ghulja in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), China.

Still the victims of the Ghulja Massacre remain unaccounted for. The crackdown on Uyghurs in the aftermaths of the deadly unrest in Urumchi on 5 July 2009 is a tragic reminder that the executions, killings and detentions of Uyghurs continue today.

Peaceful protesters
On 5 February 1997, thousands of Uyghur men, women and children went out onto the streets of Ghulja and called for equal treatment, religious and cultural freedom, as well as freedom of speech. They also demanded an end to the racial discrimination they experienced daily, leading to the cultural and economic marginalisation of the Uyghur community.

Met with force
The peaceful demonstration was met with brute force by units of the People’s Armed Police and riot police. According to eye witnesses, the security forces opened fire into the crowd. The death toll varies, but witnesses report that as many as 30 Uyghurs were killed on the spot, and more than a hundred were wounded.

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