Arab states deported Uighurs 'at Beijing's request': report

Uighurs deported from Middle East 'at the request of Beijing': report
2 min read
08 June, 2021
The investigation has collected around a dozen testimonies from Uyghurs who say they are being deported from mainly three Arab countries, namely Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia. 
Numerous testimonies and legal documents show that China has been exerting influence in the Middle East to deport members of the Uyghur community back to China. [Getty]

Testimonies and legal documents show that China has been exerting influence in the Middle East to deport Uighurs back to China,  a CNN investigation has revealed.

Dubai's public prosecutor, along with authorities in multiple Middle Eastern states, followed Chinese extradition requests to deport a Uyghur resident of the United Arab Emirates.

A document cited in the investigation which was issued by Dubai's public prosecutor on February 20, 2018 confirmed the extradition of Uighur Muslim Ahmad Talip eight days after he was apprehended by the local authorities.

Dubai authorities had initially decided to release Talip due to "insufficient proof that he should be extradited." They demanded to "stop searching the above-mentioned person and lift all the restrictions on him, unless he is wanted for another reason."  

Three years after his arrest, Talip's wife, Amannisa Abdullah, says she still does not know on what charges her husband was detained and then extradited. 

"It's not safe here. You must take our boy and [go] to Turkey," he had told his wife, according to the testimony. 

"If our new baby is a girl, please name her Amina. If he's a boy, name him Abdullah."  

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The investigation collected around a dozen testimonies from Uighurs who say they are being deported from mainly three Arab countries, namely Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia. 

Human Rights Watch urged Saudi authorities to "immediately disclose" the whereabouts of two Uighur Muslim men detained in the Kingdom, amid fears they may be deported to China where members of their ethnic group face systematic repression, torture and other ill-treatment.

A BBC Newsnight report from last year revealed multiple cases of exiled Uighur students and pilgrims being targeted in there Muslim-led countries in collaboration with Beijing.

A Human Rights Watch report released in April said China had tracked down hundreds of Uighurs across the globe, forcing them to return and face persecution. In many cases "it is impossible to find out what has happened" to them, the report said.