Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK, AOHR UK, warned against the Saudi authorities’ plans to extradite four Uyghur Muslims to the Chinese authorities, which is known for its torture and repressive practices against the Uyghur minority.
Over the past weeks, the Saudi authorities have transferred four Uyghur citizens, including a child, to Riyadh in preparation for their extradition to China.
The Chinese authorities have been pursuing the forcible return of Uyghurs back to China, from which they have fled persecution, by issuing arrest requests for countries it enjoys close diplomatic and economic relations with.
The four citizens are Hamdallah Abdul Wali, Nurmit Ruzi, the ex-wife of Nurmit, Mrs. Bohelikimo Abula, and her 13-year-old daughter Marie Mai Te.
Hamdallah and Nurmit were arrested in November 2020 during their stay in Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah, while the woman and her daughter were in arrested last month. They were all deported to Riyadh and informed of being extradited to China.
Uyghur Muslims are subjected to fierce repressive measures at the hands of the Chinese government, including torture, rape and physical liquidation. In total, the Chinese government has subjected 13 million Muslims in the region to forced political indoctrination, mass surveillance, and severe restrictions on movement, performance of religious rites such as prayer or wearing Hijab, forced sterilisation, in addition to the detention of about one million people in the so-called “political education” camps.
For twenty years, the Chinese authorities, famous in the international community for their tyranny, have been using common interests with a number of Arab countries to use them to target and detain Uyghur Muslims living there. Reports have documented the deportation of 292 Uyghurs from Arab countries at the request of China since 2001.
The Chinese authorities have established a digital mechanism to track and target Uyghurs living abroad, and arrest them while performing Hajj and Umrah in cooperation with the Saudi authorities. Moreover, Chinese embassies and consulates in Arab countries continues to refuse issuing passports to Uyghur residents of Arab countries.
Egypt is at the forefront of countries that helped China to abuse and target the Uyghurs on its soil, where 274 cases of arrest or forced deportation were documented, most of whom were students at Al-Azhar University, arrested by the Egyptian security in 2017.
It has been confirmed that 45 of them have been deported to China, some of whom have never been heard of again since the extradition.
Saudi Arabia ranks the second by deporting 8 Uyghur citizens to China, followed by the UAE which deported 7 citizens.
It is noteworthy that in 2019, these countries have signed a letter supporting the repressive practices of the Chinese authorities against Muslims in Xinjiang, under the pretext of combating terrorism.
The extradition of Uyghur Muslims to China by Arab and Islamic regimes is illegal and violates human rights and international law, which criminalises the extradition of any persons to a country where their lives would be in danger.
AOHR UK called on the relevant UN bodies and decision-makers in the world to intervene immediately and take the necessary measures to ensure the provision of a safe haven for Uyghurs around the world, and to place a mechanism to protect their right to life and security and to end the constant threat of being forcibly returned to China.
AOHR UK calls on the free people of the world to unite their efforts to pressure all regimes, including Saudi Arabia, to stop the deportation of Uyghur citizens to China.