Egypt deports Uyghur students to China

Human rights advocates are alarmed: Uyghur students living abroad are at risk! (Press Release)

In the end of January 2017 Chinese authorities have begun to force parents to pressure their Uigurian children, who are studying abroad, to return. Photo: alvpics via pixabay [symbolic picture]

The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) is alarmed: as the human rights organization was just informed, 12 Uyghur students were deported from Egypt to China on Thursday evening. “We are horrified that the Egyptian government is cooperating with the repressive regime of Xi Jinping,” said Hanno Schedler, a member of the STP’s Asia Department, on Friday in Göttingen. “The deportees didn’t do anything wrong. In China, however, they will have to fear harassment, imprisonment, and torture – because of their nationality and their Muslim faith, but also because they didn’t follow instructions from Peking immediately.” There are 22 further Uyghur students in Cairo who are waiting to be deported to China, into police custody.

According to the STP, the Chinese authorities had started putting pressure on the parents of Uyghur students who were studying abroad, demanding them to return to China by the end of January 2017 – whether from Egypt or from other countries such as the USA, Turkey, or Japan. According to official figures from Beijing, about 90 percent of the 7,000 to 8,000 Uyghurs living in Egypt have returned since then.

“The Chinese government is increasingly trying to use its political and economic power to harass and defame human rights activists – even in exile,” Schedler criticized. At the end of April 2017, the Secretary General of the World Congress of the Uyghurs, Dolkun Isa, was forced to leave the United Nations site in New York. He had participated in the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Affairs.

Header Photo: alvpics via pixabay