China Orders Uyghurs Studying Overseas to Return Home

Voice of America, 15 May 2017

Voice of America — Chinese officials are reported to have ordered Uyghurs studying in schools outside of China to return to their hometowns by May 20.

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Uyghurs Studying Abroad Ordered Back to Xinjiang Under Threat to Families

Radio Free Asia, 10 May 2017

By Shorhet Hoshur — Uyghur students enrolled in schools outside China are being ordered by Chinese authorities to return to their home towns by May 20, with family members in some cases held hostage to force their return, sources in Xinjiang and in Egypt say.

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New claims of Chinese oppression against Uyghur people

World Bulletin, 21 April 2017

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World Bulletin — In recent months, China’s new practices have brought them back under the spotlight of Human rights organizations as well as those who are protecting the Human Rights accord. Reports emerging from the Uyghur Autonomous Region has stated that there have been tens of thousands of arrests in recent times with many executions without a trial.

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Languishing in jail, 3 Uyghur Muslims seek asylum

Greater Kashmir, 29 September 2016

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By Umer Maqbool — Languishing in a J&K jail for the past three years, three Uyghur Muslims from China’s Xinjiang province have approached Jammu and Kashmir High Court seeking asylum as well as freedom from the prison.

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Rights Groups Say Malaysia Should Not Deport Undocumented Uyghurs

RFA, 8 October 2014

Human rights groups have asked Malaysia not to deport more than 150 of China’s ethnic minority Uyghurs back home, fearing they could be persecuted on their return.

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Kasim Mapir, Hemit Memet and Ilyas Zordun

On 11 February 1999, Kasim Mapir (Kasim Mahpir), Hemit Memet (28 years old at extradition) and Ilyas Zordun, three young Uyghur asylum seekers, were forcibly returned to China by Kazakhstan’s Ministry of National Security.

The three men reportedly participated in a demonstration in the city of Ghulja (Yining) in East Turkestan on 5 February 1997. Following those demonstrations, their names appeared on wanted posters in XUAR alleging involvement in separatist or subversive activities and they fled East Turkestan in August 1998. They were apprehended by Kazakhstan officials while crossing the border from China and were held until 11 February 1999. They sought asylum while detained in Kazakhstan

The fate they faced after being returned to China is unclear. Some reports suggested that Hemit Memet was sentenced to death in a secret trial in July 1999, and that all three men had been executed in August 1999. Some reports however suggest that all three were executed on 3 October 2000. Subsequent reports indicated, however, that they did not face trial until March 2001, when they were given suspended death sentences after being convicted of “dividing the country, illegal storage of firearms, and illegally crossing the border”. Amnesty International also received unconfirmed reports that they had been tortured in detention in order to force them to “confess”, but further details of their treatment remained unclear.

It was later reported that two brothers of Hemit Memet, Saydakhmet Memet and Zulfikar (or Zulikar) Memet, had also been arrested in East Turkestan for “assisting terrorists”. They were held in Yengi Hayat prison in Gulja city and Zulfikar Memet was reportedly tortured in detention, including by having his fingernails pulled out. He was reportedly executed in secret in June 2000. Saydakhmet Memet was sentenced to six years in prison.

Source:

Amnesty International (AI), People’s Republic of China:  Gross Violations of Human Rights in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, 31 March 1999, available at: www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA17/018/1999/en

Amnesty International (AI) Report, People’s Republic of China: Uighurs fleeing persecution as China wages its “war on terror”, ASA 17/021/2004, 6 July 2004, available at: https://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA17/021/2004/en

Amnesty International (AI), Belarus and Uzbekistan: The Last Executioners: The trend towards abolition in the former Soviet space, EUR 04/009/2004, 3 October 2004, available at: https://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/EUR04/009/2004/en

Human Rights in China (HRIC) Report, Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights: The Impact of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, March 2011, available at: http://www.hrichina.org/research-and-publications/reports/sco; chapter on “Extraditions and Forcible Returns to China” available at: http://www.hrichina.org/content/5237#china

U.S. Department of State, 1999 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: China, 2000, available at: http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/1999/284.htm

 

[Last updated: December 2011]

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Ahmet Memet and Turgan Abbas

In December 2001, two Uyghurs, Ahmet (Ahat) Memet (aged 21) and Turgan Abbas (aged 27), both Islamic students from Yerken county, Kashgar prefecture, went missing in Kazakhstan and are believed to have been forcibly returned to China.

They had fled from East Turkestan in August 1999 after their release from Yerken detention centre, Kashgar prefecture, where they had reportedly been detained and interrogated for one month on suspicion of engaging in “illegal religious” and “separatist” activities. They were reportedly arrested on their arrival in Kazakhstan and sentenced in April 2000 to eighteen months in prison for “illegally crossing the border.”

Following their release, they applied to UNHCR in Almaty for refugee status. Shortly afterwards, they moved to Charyn village, 250 km outside Almaty, after reportedly being harassed by the police. Unofficial sources report that they were taken away from their home in Charyn by uniformed officers, and that the two were being detained in Panfilov in December 2001.

In early 2004, it was reported that they were imprisoned in East Turkestan, but there are no further details about their exact whereabouts, legal status or state of health.

Sources:

Amnesty International (AI) Report, People’s Republic of China: Uighurs fleeing persecution as China wages its “war on terror”, ASA 17/021/2004, 6 July 2004, available at: https://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ASA17/021/2004/en

Human Rights in China (HRIC) Report, Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights: The Impact of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, March 2011, available at: http://www.hrichina.org/research-and-publications/reports/sco; chapter on “Extraditions and Forcible Returns to China” available at: http://www.hrichina.org/content/5237#china

 

[Last Updated: December 2011]

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14 Uyghurs (1998 – 2004)

On 20 November 2004, Vladimir Bozhko, the deputy chairman of Kazakhstan’s National Security Agency, announced that “due to facts of involvement into Uyghur separatist organizations, 14 individuals have been extradited to Kyrgyzstan and China in the last six years”  which means that they have been extradited between 1998 – 2004. Bozhko said all those extradited were Uyghur members of a group called the Eastern Turkestan Liberation Party, which he described as a Uyghur separatist organization.

Further details on the cases are unknown.

Sources:

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Kazakhstan Reveals Uyghur Extraditions, 16 November 2004, available at: http://www.rferl.org/content/article/1055916.html

Uyghur Human Rights Project (UHRP), UHRP Condemns Kazakhstan’s Extradition of Uyghurs to China, 30 November 2004, available at: http://www.uhrp.org/articles/107/1/UHRP-Condemns-Kazakhstans-Extradition-of-Uyghurs-to-China/UHRP-Condemns-Kazakhstans-Extradition-of-Uyghurs-to-China.html

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