UPDATE: Two Uyghurs Extradited from Cambodia Sentenced To Life Imprisonment

Press Release – For immediate release
27 January 2012
Contact:  World Uyghur Congress www.uyghurcongress.org
0049 (0) 89 5432 1999 or [email protected]

Note: This is an update on the WUC press release published on 26 January 2012 regarding the prison sentence for the Uyghur Musa Muhamad (Muhemmed), extradited from Cambodia to China in December 2009.

According to new information released by Radio Free Asia (RFA) on 26 January 2012, another two Uyghurs, who were part of the group of Uyghurs extradited from Cambodia to China on 19 December 2009, have received harsh prison terms. Both 35 year old Nurahmat Kudret and 32 year old Islam Urayim were sentenced to life imprisonment. The dates of the trials and the charges against them are unknown. The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) is deeply concerned by this troubling news and condemns the sentences in the harshest possible terms. The WUC calls on the Chinese government to provide detailed information on their cases, as well as to reveal the fate of the other 17 people, including one pregnant woman and two children, extradited from Cambodia more than two years ago.

The individuals of the group of 20 Uyghur refugees, forcibly returned from Cambodia, were:

  1. Maymuna Abdukadir (born in 2009)
  2. Bilal Abdukadir (born in 2008)
  3. Shahida Kurban (born in 1989) – female
  4. Abdukadir Abdugheni (born in 1987)
  5. Halil Abdugheni (born in August 1987)
  6. Kasim Abdulla (born in 1986)
  7. Kawul Kurban (born in 1977)
  8. Eli Amat (born in 1967)
  9. Musa Muhamad (born in 1986)
  10. Ali Nur (born in 1979)
  11. Ali Ahmat (born in 1979)
  12. Mamat Ali (born in 1972)
  13. Ebrayim Mamat (born in 1972)
  14. Mahmut Bilal (born in 1983)
  15. Omar Mohamed (born in 1972)
  16. Turik Muhamet (born in 1984)
  17. Mutallip Mamut (born in 1980)
  18. Islam Urayim (born in 1980)
  19. Hazirti ali Umar (born in 1990)
  20. Aikebaierjiang Tuniyazi (born in 1982)

While Musa Muhamad and Islam Urayim appear on the list, the identity of Nurahmet Kudret is not entirely clear. Some of the Uyghurs who applied for political asylum in Cambodia apparently used fake names for their asylum applications in fear of repression after a possible return to China. The Chinese authorities are harshly punishing not only the act of fleeing the country, but especially for seeking political asylum abroad. The negative records of past extradition cases may have prompted some of the refugees to adopt false names. The real name of Nurahmet Kudret, who is reportedly 35 years old, might be Kawul Kurban, the only 35-year old on the list.

According to information by the Uyghur American Association (UAA), “Islam Urayim was one of two Uyghur asylum seekers who reported having witnessed security forces killing and beating Uyghur demonstrators on 5 July 2009 in Urumqi. He was one of only four Uyghur asylum seekers who had agreed to be named while still in Cambodia. Urayim told RFA before being deported that Chinese authorities had misrepresented the truth about events on 5 July by covering up news about shootings and killings of Uyghurs, and only publicizing acts of violence committed by Uyghurs.”

The UAA cites Urayim saying that, “living abroad is a terrifying thing for me, but I have no choice. They are hiding the fact that the police shot at demonstrators, that Uyghurs were killed, and they are showing only Chinese fatalities to the world. I fled the country so I could do my part in revealing the facts about July 5.”

Muhamad is serving his sentence in Daheyan (Dahiyen) Prison in Turpan Prefecture, while Kudret (originally from Gulbagh town from Yarkand County) and Urayim (originally from Uchturpan County, Aksu Prefecture) are imprisoned in Xinjiang Prison No.3 and Xinjiang Prison No.1 respectively, both situated in Urumqi, East Turkestan´s regional capital.

See also:

Reports: Uyghur asylum seekers deported from Cambodia sentenced to life, 17 years in prison
UAA Press Release, 26 January 2012

Life In Prison for Asylum Seekers
RFA, 26 January 2012