Amnesty International: 2 Urgent Actions on behalf of ethnic Uighurs facing deportation to China

PUBLIC AI Index: EUR 57/001/2006
25 April 2006

UA 100/06 Forcible return/torture/death penalty
KAZAKSTAN/CHINA Yusuf Kadir Tohti (also known as Erdagan) (m), aged 35 Abdukadir Sidik (m), aged 30

The two Uighur men named above have been detained in Kazakstan since around March 2006. Both men are originally from China's Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR). The Chinese authorities have reportedly requested their extradition. If returned to China, they would be at risk of serious human rights violations, including torture or other ill-treatment, and possibly the death penalty if their "crimes" are deemed to be "serious".

Yusuf Kadir Tohti reportedly fled China for Kazakstan in 1996, and became a religious teacher. He was reportedly arrested on 8 March 2006 by the Kazakstani authorities. The Chinese authorities have reportedly accused him of “separatism and asked for his extradition.

Abdukadir Sidik fled the XUAR in 1999 after he publicly protested against the Chinese authorities’ policy on minorities, particularly their enforcement of the family planning policy which limited the number of children that Uighurs could have. He had also protested against harsh working conditions during mandatory state labour which reportedly lasts 45 days for men. He was reportedly detained for two months in connection with his political activities and views. After his release Abdukadir Sidik reportedly filed a complaint against a local official. After he submitted his complaint, the official reportedly came to his house, beat him and threatened him with further punishment. It was after this that Abdukadir Sidik, reportedly fearing for his safety, fled China and was detained by Kazakstani border officials when crossing the border. He was charged by the Kazakstani authorities with illegally crossing the border and sentenced to six months' imprisonment.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The Chinese authorities have been mounting a crackdown on the “three evil forces of “separatist, terrorist and religious extremists in the XUAR. It has resulted in serious and widespread human rights violations directed against the region’s Uighur community, prompting many of them to flee the country. The crackdown has intensified since the 11 September 2001 attacks in the USA, as China uses the international "war on terror" as a pretext to justify its policies of repression in the region.

Over recent years, Amnesty International has monitored growing numbers of forced returns of Uighurs to China from several of its neighbouring countries, including those of Central Asia, such as Kazakstan. In some recent cases, returnees are reported to have been subjected to serious human rights violations, including torture, unfair trials and even execution.

The death penalty is used extensively and often arbitrarily in China. Based on public reports available, Amnesty International estimated that at least 1,770 people were executed and 3,900 sentenced to death in 2005. The true figures, which are classified as a "state secret", are believed to be much higher. A Chinese legal expert was recently quoted as stating the true figure for executions to be approximately 8,000 per year. Over recent years, Amnesty International has documented several cases of Uighurs being sentenced to death and executed in the XUAR for alleged "separatist" or "terrorist" activities.

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible, in Russian, Kazak, English or your own language:

- expressing concern at reports that the Kazakstani authorities are preparing to forcibly return two Uighur men, Yusuf Kadir Tohti and Abdukadir Sidik, to China, where they would be at risk of torture and possibly execution;

- urging the authorities not to forcibly return the men and to ensure that they have access to their families and lawyers of their choice;
- reminding Kazakstan of its obligations as a State party to the UN Refugee Convention that to forcibly return anyone to China would be in contravention of the principle of non-refoulement, which prohibits the return in any manner whatsoever of any person to a situation where s/he would be at risk of torture or other serious human rights violations.

President of the Republic of Kazakstan
473000 Astana, ul. Beybitshilik 11, Prezidentu NAZARBAEVU N.
Kazakstan
Fax: +7 3172 32 40 89
Salutation: Dear President
You also can send a letter from the President’ website: http://www.akorda.kz/page.php?page_id=185&lang=2

Procurator General of the Republic of Kazakstan
010000, Astana, ul. Seyfullina 73, Generalnomu prokuroru TUSUPBEKOVU
Kazakstan
Fax: +7 3172 21 67 20
Email: kanc@pravstat.kz
gp-rk@mail.online.kz

Salutation: Dear Procurator General
COPIES TO:
Human Rights Ombudsman of Kazakstan
4, Beibitshilik Str., Astana, Upolnomochenomu po pravam cheloveka BAIKADAMOVU B.
Kazakstan
Fax: +7 31 72 32 17 67
E-mail: ombudsman@mail.kz

and to diplomatic representatives of Kazakstan accredited to your country.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 6 June 2006.

PUBLIC AI Index: EUR 62/008/2006
24 April 2006

Fear of torture or ill-treatment/Forcible return/Fear of death penalty

UZBEKISTAN/CANADA Husein Dzhelil (known as Huseyin Celil) (m), aged 37, Canadian national

Husein Dzhelil, a Canadian citizen and ethnic Uighur from the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in northwest China, was arrested on 27 March while visiting relatives in Uzbekistan, and is at risk of torture or ill-treatment. He is also believed to be at risk of forcible return to China, where he would be at risk of further torture or ill-treatment and possibly the death penalty if his "crimes" are deemed to be "serious". The Uzbekistani authorities reportedly refused to allow Canadian government representatives to see Husein Dzhelil until 14 April.

Husein Dzhelil reportedly fled China in the mid-1990s after being detained in connection with his political activities there, which included advocating the rights of Uighurs. He appears to have travelled first to Kyrgyzstan before eventually going to Turkey where he sought asylum through the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). He was recognized as a refugee and resettled to Canada in 2001. He now has Canadian citizenship.

Husein Dzhelil was visiting his wife's family in Uzbekistan when he was arrested. He was detained on 27 March when he tried to get an extension to his visa. The authorities did not tell his family, who are also Canadian citizens, why they had detained him. His family have not been allowed to visit him. Representatives of the Canadian government were allowed to meet him for the first time on 14 April for 20 minutes.

Husein Dzhelil is reportedly also being sought by the Kyrgyzstani authorities, although the reasons for this are unclear.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The Chinese authorities are engaged in a crackdown on the so-called “three evil forces of separatist, terrorist and religious extremists’ in the XUAR, and this has involved serious and widespread human rights violations directed against the region’s Uighur community, prompting many of them to flee the country. The crackdown has intensified since the 11 September 2001 attacks in the USA, as China uses the international "war on terror" as a pretext to justify its policies of repression in the region.

Over recent years, Amnesty International has monitored growing numbers of forced returns of Uighurs to China from several of its neighbouring countries, including those in Central Asia, such as Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. There is evidence that China has been pressuring these countries to forcibly return Uighurs. In some recent cases, returnees are reported to have been subjected to serious human rights violations, including torture, unfair trials and even execution.

The death penalty is used extensively and often arbitrarily in China. Based on public reports available, Amnesty International estimated that at least 1,770 people were executed and 3,900 people were sentenced to death in 2005. The true figures, which are classified as a “state secret are believed to be much higher. A Chinese legal expert was recently quoted as stating the true figure for executions to be approximately 8,000 per year. Over recent years, Amnesty International has documented several cases of Uighurs being sentenced to death and executed in the XUAR for alleged "separatist" or "terrorist" activities.
RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible:

To the Uzbekistani authorities, in Uzbek, Russian, English or your own language:

- calling on the authorities to ensure that Canadian citizen Husein Dzhelil is either charged with a recognizably criminal offence or released immediately;

- urging them to ensure that he has access to his family and to a lawyer of his choice;

- asking them whether there is an extradition request from the Chinese or Kyrgyzstani authorities;

- urging them to ensure that Husein Dzhelil is not forcibly returned to China, where he would be at risk of torture and execution;

- reminding Uzbekistan of its international obligations not to forcibly return anyone to a situation where they would be at risk of torture or other serious human rights violations.

To the Canadian authorities, in English or French, calling on them to:

- calling on them to make immediate diplomatic representations on behalf of Canadian citizen Husein Dzhelil, in custody in Uzbekistan;
- calling on them to urge the authorities in Uzbekistan to either charge Husein Dzhelil with a recognizably criminal offence or release him immediately.

Uzbekistani authorities:
President
Islam A. KARIMOV,
Rezidentsia prezidenta; ul. Uzbekistanskaia, 43; Tashkent 700163; UZBEKISTAN
Fax: +998 71 139 53 25
Email: presidents_office@press-service.uz
Salutation: Dear President Karimov

Minister of Internal Affairs
Bahodir MATLIUBOV
Ministerstvo vnutrennikh del RU, ul. Novruz, 1; Tashkent 700029; UZBEKISTAN
Fax: +998 71 133 89 34
Salutation: Dear Minister Matliubov

Canadian Authorities:

Minister of Foreign Affairs
Peter MacKay
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs Canada
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON, Canada
K1A 0G2
Fax: +1 613 996 9709
Email: MacKay.P@parl.gc.ca
COPIES TO:

Minister of Foreign Affairs
Elior GANIEV, Ministerstvo inostrannykh del RU; pl. Mustakillik, 5; Tashkent 700029; UZBEKISTAN
Fax: +998 71 139 15 17

and to diplomatic representatives of Uzbekistan accredited to your country.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 6 June 2006.

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