Extradition of Uyghurs to China in violation of international law
Human Rights Without Frontiers Int'l, Brussels
Editor-in-chief: Willy Fautré
June 19, 2008
The People's Republic of China's (PRC) human rights violations against
the Uyghur people are not limited to East Turkestan (also known as the
Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region or XUAR). The Chinese government has
extended its campaign against the Uyghurs into neighboring countries
by using bilateral agreements to force the return of Uyghurs suspected
of involvement in any kind of political activity disliked by the
Chinese government. Uyghurs extradited to the PRC face serious human
rights violations, including torture, unfair trials, and execution. In
all of these cases, the governments involved are in clear violation of
the principle of non-refoulement under international law, which
protects refugees from being returned to places where their lives or
freedoms could be threatened.
The exact number of Uyghur activists who have been returned to the
PRC, and the number who were subsequently executed, is unknown. The
cases posted here were taken from Amnesty International reports,
press reports and UHRP sources
Shaheer Ali, sentenced to death in March 2003 and executed
after being forcibly returned from Nepal to China in 2002. He had been
recognized as a refugee by UNHCR in Nepal and was awaiting
resettlement to a third country. He left behind detailed testimony of
the torture he suffered while detained for eight months in the XUAR in
- Abdu Allah Sattar, whose fate has remained unknown since he
was detained at the same time as Shaheer Ali in Nepal. He is believed
to have been forcibly returned to China.
- Kheyum Whashim Ali, reportedly tortured in detention in
Michuan prison in the XUAR, after being forcibly returned to China in
mid-2002. He had been recognized as a refugee by UNHCR in
- Muhammed Tohti Metrozi, forcibly returned to China from
Pakistan in July 2003. He was reportedly tried on or around 10 April
2004 in connection with sheltering Uyghurs who fled
from China to Pakistan, belonging to a "separatist" group, and
applying to UNHCR for refugee status.
- Abdukakhar Idris, a former tailor and bookkeeper from
Kashgar, is believed to have been forcibly returned from Kazakstan to
China after his "disappearance" in Almaty in April or May
2003. He had approached UNHCR for refugee status before he went
missing. His current whereabouts, legal status or state of health is
- Ahmet Memet and Turgun Abbas, Islamic students from Kashgar,
are believed to have been forcibly returned to China after reportedly
being detained in Kazakstan in December 2001, in the
border village of Panfilov. They had both reportedly applied to UNHCR
for refugee status. There is no further information about their
current whereabouts, legal status or state of health.
- Yusuf Kadir and Abdukadir Sidik, Uyghur activists, forcibly
returned from Kazakhstan to China on May 10, 2006. They are being held
in incommunicado detention in China.
- Kasim Mahpir, Ilyas Zordun, and Zulfikar Memet Uyghur,
political activists forcibly returned to China from Kazakhstan in
1999, were executed upon their return.
- Ismail Semed, forcibly repatriated from Pakistan to China In
2003, and executed on February 8, 2007 on charges of "attempting to
split the motherland".
- 14 anonymous Uyghurs, extradited from Kyrgyzstan to China for
their "involvement in Uyghur separatist organizations". Their names,
whereabouts and fate are unknown.
- Arkin Sabirov, disappeared in Kazakhstan on October 23, 2006.
Sabirov is believed to have been secretly deported to China.
Source: Amnesty International
 Amnesty International, Documented Cases of Uighurs Forcibly
Returned to the XUAR, at