12 Uyghur students released by Egypt

Image of Egyptian security forces [Ashraf Amra/Apaimages]

September 9, 2017 at 11:54 am

The lawyer representing more than 100 Uyghur students detained by the Egyptian authorities announced on Friday that 12 have been released. The others, added lawyer and human rights activist Ezzat Ghoneim, are expected to be released within the next few days.

Ghoneim told Anadolu that the students from East Turkestan in China’s autonomous Xinjiang province are registered at Al-Azhar University. More than 200 students were arrested in July and it is believed that 113 remain in detention.“The students were detained without any charges,” explained the lawyer, “despite their legal status in Egypt having been approved by the Chinese Embassy in Cairo.” He suggested that the approach of the new academic year at Al-Azhar on 23 September might play a part in their release.

Ghoneim added that a Uyghur student called Mukhtar Razy Momen has been missing since his arrest on 16 July, and that Public Prosecutor Nabil Sadiq has been informed about his disappearance.

The Egyptian authorities have not denied reports from local and western human rights groups about the detention of the students. Al-Azhar, though, has denied that any were arrested inside the university’s institutions.

In September last year, Egypt and China signed a document of cooperation in different security matters. No further details were issued by the Ministry of the Interior in Cairo at the time. Beijing has been putting pressure on China’s Muslim Uyghur citizens. Chinese control of East Turkistan goes back to 1949.

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