Tuesday, January 18, 2022

The Uighur man’s long journey to freedom may end with his return to China

An ethnic Uyghur who fled to Morocco is facing the prospect of being deported back to China while his wife fights for his freedom.

The story of Idris Hasan, whose Chinese name is Yidirese Aishan, began 14 years ago. In 2008, when he was a 20-year-old student at the China University of Petroleum in East China, he and four fellow Uighur classmates were beaten up and arrested by the local police.

His wife, Zenur Obul, said police cited the reason he and his Uighur classmates were from Xinjiang and that the suspects appeared in the Han-majority Chinese city.

A Radio Free Asia reporter reached out to Hassan for an interview after writing about the “unjust” incident online.

“My husband spoke to the RFA about what happened in a phone interview and his life has changed since then,” Obul told VOA from Istanbul.

police on target

He said he became a regular target of police questioning since that media interview.

“They scolded her for getting an interview from the American media, and when she graduated, she decided to leave the country in 2012, right after our wedding,” Obul said, adding that she was in Turkey in 2013 for her wedding. Joined her husband.

While in Turkey, Hassan used his graphic design skills to help Uighur rights groups. After living in Istanbul for more than a year, the couple applied for a Turkish permit to live in Istanbul on humanitarian grounds.

“I immediately got clearance for humanitarian housing, but Turkish police took my husband to an extradition center and kept him in a cell there,” Obul said.

Zenyor Obul with three children protest in front of the Moroccan embassy in Istanbul. (Zenure Obul)

Obul said Turkish officials told him that Hassan’s passport was on a wanted list provided by China.

“From 2014 to last year, my husband was arbitrarily arrested by the Turkish authorities four times,” Obul said. “The longest he was in custody in Turkey was over a year.”

In 2021, Hassan decided to leave the country after seeing his name on a publicly disclosed Turkish government document about China’s wanted Uighurs in Turkey.

“His last two attempts to leave Turkey at Istanbul airport were unsuccessful,” Obul said, adding that the border police interrogated him and did not let him go.

In July, he finally succeeded and flew to Casablanca, Morocco.

“My husband told me over the phone that the border police had been on the phone with their boss for a long time before they let him go to Casablanca,” Obul said.

When Hasan reached there, he sent a message to his wife that he had arrived. Four days later she received a call from the Casablanca detention center that she had been arrested at the airport and taken to a prison near the town of Tifflet.

After that he was kept in custody for months due to delay in his court hearing.

request to interpol

Obul corresponds with Interpol and learns that her husband’s arrest in Morocco was due to China’s Red Notice to Interpol, a fugitive request for worldwide law enforcement.

“After organizations like Amnesty International talked about my husband, Interpol finally removed my husband’s name from its list, saying it had informed all 194 member states about the change,” Obul said. Have given.”

Interpol did not respond to VoA’s requests for comment.

Last month, however, during the sixth trial by a Moroccan court, it was decided that Hassan would be extradited to China.

The VOA sent several inquiries to the Chinese embassy in Washington asking about the nature of Hassan’s crime, but received no response. The Moroccan embassy in Washington also did not respond to multiple requests from the VOA for an interview about Hassan being deported.

“After months of waiting for my husband’s independence, the Moroccan authorities have made a decision that poses a serious threat to the life and safety of my husband and the father of my three children,” Obul said.

Amnesty International USA’s Asia Advocacy Director Carolyn Nash described Hassan’s case as “a grim reminder of the extraordinary efforts of Chinese authorities to expand the government’s repressive power” outside its borders – intimidating and critical of expatriate communities. To silence the speech.

“Moroccan Prime Minister Aziz Akhanouch should immediately stop the extradition of Idris Hassan,” Nash told the VOA. “If they [Morocco authorities] Failure to meet this obligation could have dire implications for the security of Uighur migrant communities in other regions of the world. ,

allegation of misconduct

The United States is among countries and international rights organizations that accuse China of genocide and crimes against humanity towards the Uighurs and other Turkic ethnic groups in Xinjiang. He says more than one million Uighurs are being detained in detention camps while facing torture and other abuse by Chinese authorities.

Beijing has denied the allegations and said the complex “vocational training centers” have been set up in Xinjiang to combat extremism and terrorism and improve the lives of Uighurs.

UN human rights experts have called on Morocco to halt Hassan’s extradition to China, saying the Moroccan decision “violates the principles of non-retaliation” by not repatriating asylum seekers to that location. where they will be persecuted.

According to Mary Lawler, the UN special envoy on human rights defenders, it is encouraging that Hassan has not yet been deported.

“While he remains in Morocco, there is still hope for him, and for a positive outcome. The matter is not complicated – he should not be put at risk by extraditing to China,” Lawler told VOA.

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This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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