Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) calls on the Saudi authorities not to extradite two detained Uyghur Muslims to China, where they will be at high risk of torture and other human rights violations.
The two Uyghur Muslims Aimidoula Waili and Nuermaimaiti Rozi were detained in Saudi Arabia in November 2020 whilst they were performing the Umrah (a visit to Mecca). Since then, they were held in Saudi jails without charge or trial.
Well-informed source affirmed that the two detainees were recently moved from Jeddah Dhahban Central Prison to the capital Riyadh as a prelude to forcibly repatriate them to China.
Waili and Rozi belong to the Uyghur Muslim minority living in Xinjiang region, where they have been subjected to unconscionable crimes against humanity directed by the Chinese state that amount to an act of genocide.
The Chinese government has dramatically escalated repression in Xinjiang, subjecting the region’s 13 million Muslims to forced political indoctrination, mass surveillance, and severe movement restrictions. An estimated one million of them have been held in “political education” camps.
Over the past year, the Chinese authorities have been working to forcibly return dozens of Uyghurs who managed to escape the massive crackdown amid absence of judicial independence and due process.
AOHR UK raises serious concerns that if deported to China, Abduweli and Rozi will face the same fate and be at grave risk of torture and other ill-treatment.
Article 3 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment states that “no state party shall extradite a person to another country where they would be in danger of being subjected to torture.”
As a party to the UN Convention against Torture, Saudi Arabia is obligated to ensure that no one in its custody is forcibly sent to a place where they would risk being subjected to persecution, torture, or other serious human rights violations.