HRW is getting on China’s case about the surging numbers of Uyghur refugees who are returned to China and then promptly disappear:
Malaysia forcibly returned at least 11 Uighurs on August 6. On the same day, the Thai government turned over an ethnic Uighur, Nur Muhammed, to Chinese diplomats in Bangkok. On August 8, Pakistan deported five blindfolded and handcuffed Uighurs, including a woman and two children, to China, media reports said.
“Uighurs disappear into a black hole after being deported to China,” said Bill Frelick, Refugee Program director at Human Rights Watch. “We want to know what happens to them once they are in the hands of the Chinese authorities.”
Human Rights Watch called on the Chinese government to account for the legal status and well-being of Uighurs who have been forcibly returned from Malaysia, Thailand, and Pakistan, as well as those earlier returned from Kazakhstan and Cambodia.
China’s efforts to pressure governments to return Uighurs summarily without affording them due process rights, including the right to seek asylum, are incompatible with China’s international legal obligations, Human Rights Watch said. China is a member of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ Executive Committee and is a party to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol, as well as other international human rights treaties.
Human Rights Watch called on the Chinese government to account for the whereabouts, conditions, and legal status of the following people believed to have been forcibly returned to China:
The 11 Uighurs deported from Malaysia on August 6;
Nur Muhammed, deported from Thailand on August 6;
Muhammed Tohti Metrozi, a Uighur deported from Pakistan in July 2003, and the six Uighurs deported from Pakistan on August 8, including Manzokra Mamad;
The 20 Uighurs deported from Cambodia on December 29, 2009;
Four Uighurs deported from Kazakhstan, including Ahmet Memet and Turgun Abbas in December 2001, Abdukakhar Idris in April or May 2003, and Ershidin Israel on May 30, 2011; and
Abdu Allah Sattar and Kheyum Whashim Ali, deported from Nepal in 2002.
I really hope they’re all still alive…