One Year Later, Whereabouts of Deported Uighurs Still Unknown

Press Release – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
17 December 2010, Washington, USA
Contact: Mary McGuire, Freedom House,  +01 202-747-7035

Freedom Houses urges the Chinese government to reveal the whereabouts of 20 Uighurs deported from Cambodia one year ago. At the time of the deportation, Chinese officials promised to deal with the Uighurs in a transparent manner. However, a year later, no information has been released about their location or well-being.

On December 19, 2009, Cambodian authorities deported back to China 20 Uighurs who had been seeking asylum in Cambodia. Most members of the group, which included a woman and two children, had fled to Cambodia in October 2009, fearing persecution amid the Chinese security crackdown in Xinjiang in the aftermath of ethnic violence in July of that year. Chinese authorities accused the individuals of being involved in the violence that took place in Urumqi but have not provided evidence to support such claims. Rather, before being deported, several of the asylum seekers reportedly revealed details of violence committed by Chinese security forces against Uighurs, raising concerns that the Chinese authorities sought the Uighurs’ deportation to silence their eyewitness accounts.  Two days after the deportation, Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping visited Cambodia and concluded 14 deals with the Cambodian government worth approximately $1 billion.

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Cambodia: one year without answers

Jesuit Refugee Service
16 December 2010


The fate of 20 asylum seekers forcibly returned to China

Bangkok, 16 December 2010 – As the one-year anniversary approaches, JRS remembers the Uighur asylum seekers that we came to know well, and again we ask the question: what happened to them? What happened to the pregnant mother and her two children? What happened to the man who had already escaped years of torture at the hands of the Chinese authorities? What happened to each individual who was trying to start a new life in a safe country?

Last year, the Uighur asylum seekers were returned to China, a country where their lives were in danger. While they were in Cambodia, JRS staff worked with them, trying to protect their right to live safely. Since then, JRS can only assume that these friends have been executed, tortured or imprisoned.

“I would prefer to die than be returned to China” is what one Uighur man, who came to be friends with the JRS Cambodia staff, said before they were forcibly returned to China on 19 December 2009.

They arrived in Cambodia in small groups between May and October 2009, seeking asylum from the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) and the government from the persecution they said that they faced in China. Seeking asylum in a country that is a signatory to the 1951 UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, they presumed that they would have access to fair and transparent processing of their claims and that they would be safe from forced return.

They were wrong.

On 18 December 2009, they were abducted at gunpoint from a safe-house, jointly managed by the Cambodia authorities and UNHCR, where they had spent one night. The next day, the 20 Uighur asylum seekers, were deported via chartered plane back to China. JRS stood helpless, watching this plane take off in the dark from the Phnom Penh airport. The plane, along with the Uighur people, disappeared into the night.

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At a year of their disappearance, the Nonviolent Radical Party calls on international organizations to urge Beijing to disclose the whereabouts of the 20 Uyghurs deported from Cambodia to China

15 December 2010

For more information, contact:
Mr. Marco Perduca
Nonviolent Radical Party Transnational and Transparty (Rome, Italy), www.radicalparty.org
E-mail: marco.perduca@senato.it
Tel.: +393490815747

Statement by Senator Marco Perduca, co-vicepresident of the Nonviolent Radical Party and Treasurer of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization:

“In patent violations of international procedures, the Cambodian Government transferred on December 19 of last year 20 Uyghurs before the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) could make a determination about their refugee status.

Since then, as usual, China has rewarded Cambodia for her collaborative stance by signing an agreement two to provide US$1.2 billion in aid to Cambodia. Phnom Penh returned these Uyghurs to China knowing that they would encounter harsh prosecution from the State violating the 1951 UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol to the Refugee Convention, of which it is a party.

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UNPO And MRG Host Conference At The United Nations Forum On Minority Issues

UNPO, 14 December 2010

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UNPO — The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization joined forces with Minority Rights Group International Tuesday to bring attention to widespread violations of minority rights through natural resource development projects.

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UNPO Joins Latest Call To Free Liu Xiaobo

UNPO, 10 December  2010

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UNPO — Today, we, a group of ten non-governmental organizations – Students for a Free Tibet, Human Rights in China, Amnesty International, Human Rights First, Human Rights Watch, International Campaign for Tibet, International Federation for Human Rights, Tibetan Youth Congress of New York & New Jersey, Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization, and the Uyghur American Association – congratulate the independent Chinese intellectual, scholar, and activist Liu Xiaobo for being awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize, and call on the Chinese government to release Liu from prison unconditionally.

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Nonviolent Radical Party Delivers Intervention Regarding Linguistic Discrimination at the Eighth Session of the Intergovernmental Working Group on the Effective Implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action in Geneva, Switzerland

For Immediate Release
October 18, 2010
For more information, contact:
Nonviolent Radical Party Transnational and Transparty (Rome, Italy)
Tel. No.: (+39) 06.689791, Fax No.: (+39) 06.68805396,
www.radicalparty.org

On Monday, October 18, 2010, the Nonviolent Radical Party Transnational and Transparty, an NGO in consultative status to the United Nations, orally delivered an intervention concerning linguistic discrimination as a form of structural discrimination during the Eighth Session of the UN Human Rights Council’s Intergovernmental Working Group on the Effective Implementation of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action at the UN in Geneva, Switzerland.

Nine years have passed since the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action was adopted by the international community following the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia, and Related Intolerance in Durban, South Africa in 2001.

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CECC Quick Brief: Human Rights Conditions in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region

Originally published by CECC, 07 july 2010

United States Congressional-Executive Commission on China

 Senator Byron L. Dorgan, Chairman | Representative Sander M. Levin, Cochairman

  In the one year since the government suppression of a demonstration by Uyghurs and multi-ethnic riots in Xinjiang starting July 5, 2009, human rights conditions in this far western region of China have worsened. Acts of deadly violence took place during the week of July 5, a time during which both Uyghurs and Han Chinese were reported to have committed violent assaults on each other. At the same time that authorities punish people for violent crimes, official statements also suggest that some July 5 protesters, including organizers of the demonstration, may be subject to criminal punishment or other repercussions based solely on political grounds. In the aftermath of the July events, authorities instituted unprecedented levels of control over the free flow of information, denying Xinjiang residents and the outside world news about conditions in the region and increasing the government’s capacity to control information. Amid this information blackout, authorities strengthened security measures and campaigns to promote “ethnic unity,” using them to quell free speech, curb independent religious activity, and impose controls over the lives of XUAR residents. Authorities have singled out Uyghurs in particular in security campaigns, and the whereabouts of some Uyghurs detained in the aftermath of the July demonstrations and riots remain unknown.

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UNPO Resolution on East Turkestan

UNPO, 29 May 2010

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The UNPO General Assembly,

Recalling the 2008 Berlin Declaration and the 2010 Brussels Declaration adopted by the World Uyghur Congress and the UNPO, reiterating their call for the application of the Chinese Constitution and the Regional Ethnic Autonomy Law by Chinese authorities in East Turkestan and elsewhere;

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