No protection for persecuted Uyghurs in Asia - now China must reveal information about the situation of deported people!

China urges neighbors to extradite Uyghur refugees

The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) has accused neighboring countries of China of systematically not providing protection for Uyghur refugees from the People's Republic. At least 18 Uyghur refugees have been extradited to China from Pakistan, Thailand, Malaysia and Kazakhstan since the end of May - although they are in mortal danger there. Just recently - on 18th of August - Malaysia turned over eleven Uyghurs to the Chinese authorities, although members of this Muslim ethnic group are increasingly persecuted in their settlement area of Eastern Turkestan (Xinjiang), located in the northwest of the People's Republic. More and more Uyghurs are trying to escape to neighboring countries, while the borders are being increasingly secured.

"We are in great concern about the fate of the deported refugees," said the STP's expert on questions regarding Asia, Ulrich Delius, in Göttingen on Friday. "In China they are facing years of detention, torture and death sentences. China is now obliged to provide information on the refugee's whereabouts and to set them free without any delay."

The STP accuses China's neighboring countries of violating the Geneva Convention by refusing shelter for the Uyghurs. An incident of December 2009 shows how irresponsible it is to follow the Chinese requests for extradition: 20 Uyghurs were deported from Cambodia although their official refugee status was confirmed by the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Until today, Beijing refuses to disclose any information about their whereabouts.

"China's authorities deliberately track down Uyghurs in neighboring states and accuse all refugees of being "terrorists" to hasten their extradition," said Delius. The eleven Uyghurs who were deported from Malaysia a few days ago, were arrested in Kuala Lumpur and Johor Baru on 6th of August 2011. China had accused them of "supporting terrorists" and Malaysia had blamed them of helping people to escape from the People's Republic. "This argument can be used to falsely accuse many Uyghurs of 'human trafficking'. The UNHCR was even denied access to these refugees."

On 8th of August 2011, Pakistan deported five Uyghurs (including two children and one woman) to Thailand, based on charges of "terrorism". Thailand extradited the Uyghur Nur Muhammad on 6th of August 2011. The teacher Ershidin Israil was handed over to China by the authorities of Kazakhstan beginning of May 2011. Since 2009, Uyghur refugees were also extradited to China from Burma, Vietnam, Laos, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.