Amnesty International Calls on Saudi Arabia Not To Extradite 4 Uyghurs to China

The Amnesty International on Tuesday called on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia not to extradite four Uyghurs, including a mother and her 13-year-old daughter, citing fear they might face arbitrary detention and torture.

“Saudi authorities must immediately release four Uyghurs, including a 13-year-old girl and her mother, who are at grave risk of being taken to repressive internment camps if sent back to China,” Amnesty said in a statement, noting that deportation plans may be underway.

Buheliqiemu Abula and her daughter were arrested near the holy city of Mecca on Thursday and told that they faced deportation along with two other Uyghur men, according to a statement.

“Deporting these four people, including a child to China, where Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities are facing a horrific campaign of mass internment, persecution and torture, would be an outrageous violation of international law,” said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

Maalouf said that time is running out to save them from this catastrophic extradition, but called on the governments who have good diplomatic ties with Saudi Arabia “to step in now to urge Riyadh to stop their deportation.”

Aimidoula Waili and Nuermaimaiti Ruze, two Uyghur religious scholars held in the kingdom since November 2020, are also set to be deported.

According to Amnesty, Waili and Ruze were transferred from Jeddah to Riyadh and back again on March 16, a move they believed signaled their imminent extradition to China.

Under the customary international law principle of non-refoulement and as a State Party to the UN Convention against Torture, Saudi Arabia is obliged not to return anyone to a country where they would face a real risk of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, persecution and other serious human rights violations, the statement added.

“Strategic allies of Saudi Arabia, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, must not stand by while it willfully ignores human rights law. The international community must do everything it can to prevent the illegal extradition of Uyghurs to China,” Maalouf added.

In June 2021, the Amnesty reported that hundreds of thousands of Muslim men and women in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region were being subjected to arbitrary mass detention, indoctrination and torture.

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