Weekly Brief February 16th
World Uyghur Congress, 16 February 2018
Association of Malaysian Lawyers Calls for Uyghur Refugees Not to Be Extradited to China
The Malaysian Bar (an association of Malaysian lawyers) issued a press release this week calling on the Malaysian Government not to deport the 11 Uyghur refugees to China and to respect & uphold the rules and customs of international law and Malaysian law.
The press release also called upon the Malaysian Government not to repeat the incident in August 2011 when it returned to China 11 Uyghurs who were residing in Malaysia, including some who were registered as refugees by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Kuala Lumpur. The fate of those 11 persons is not known.
The Malaysian Bar highlighted the fact that that Malaysia‘s extradition agreement with China prohibits the return of individuals who face punishment or persecution due to race, religion, nationality or political opinion. As China’s persecution of Uyghurs for their religious beliefs, culture, Uyghur identity and political opinions is well-documented, the 11 Uyghur refugees should not be extradited according to the terms of their extradition agreement with China.
The press release concluded by stating that “Malaysian Government must not abdicate or ignore its legal and moral obligation not to deport individuals to situations where their very lives may be in serious jeopardy”.
Chinese Authorities Launch Anti-Religion Campaign from Local Police Station in East Turkestan
This week it was reported that a new ‘Anti-Religion’ campaign has been launched by Chinese authorities in East Turkestan, specifically targeting the religious beliefs of the Uyghur population. The campaign is being conducted from local police stations and consists of anti-religious propaganda aimed at undermining the Islamic faith of local residents. The campaign has been reportedly ongoing for 2 months and photos have emerged of police officers holding banners stating, ‘We Must Solemnly Reject Religion, Must Not Believe in Religion’. This campaign is just the latest action in a sustained attack on the right to freedom of religion of the Uyghur people.