CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 18 May 2019

Print Version    Email to Friend
Don’t forcibly return Turkic Muslims European Union urged

BRUSSELS (UCAN): The new York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a December 3 letter to the foreign and interior ministers of European Union (EU) member countries, that Turkic Muslims from China should not be forcibly returned without a full and fair individualised examination of their risk of being ill-treated.
 
The rights organisation also urged governments to expedite asylum claims and investigate and address the Chinese government’s intimidation of Turkic Muslim diaspora communities.
 
“Some EU member countries have saved Turkic Muslims from harm by suspending their return to China,” EU director, Lotte Leicht, said, adding, “This should be an EU-wide position until China ends its widespread repression in Xinjiang.”
 
In the letter, HRW said that they have documented instances of forced returns of ethnic Uyghurs to China from Cambodia, Nepal, Pakistan and Thailand, among other places.
 
“All are at grave risk of further abuses and few if any of those forced back have been heard from again. Some are known to have been prosecuted and ill-treated in detention,” the letter said.
 
Over the past year, Human Rights Watch has documented a spiralling human rights crisis in Xinjiang. It includes the establishment of “political education” camps in which credible reports suggest that up to a million people are arbitrarily detained.
 
The organisation also documented torture and ill-treatment in these and other detention facilities, as well as severe restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression and religion.
 
The Chinese government’s latest Strike Hard campaign does not stop at China’s borders. Authorities harass Turkic Muslim communities around the world, often in an attempt to compel people to return.

More from this section