Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

15 June 2011

Uighur teacher extradited to China on politically motivated 'terror' charges

Uighur teacher extradited to China on politically motivated 'terror' charges

A Uighur schoolteacher is facing politically motivated terror charges in China after he reported a death in custody, Amnesty International said today following his extradition from Kazakhstan.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry yesterday confirmed that Ershidin Israil is being held on terrorism charges as a "major terror suspect", although the charges were not substantiated.

"It appears that Ershidin Israil's only 'crime' was to report a human rights abuse. He was living openly before fleeing the country and only appears to have become a 'major terror suspect' after divulging the inside story of torture in Chinese jails to the world," said Sam Zarifi, Asia-Pacific Director at Amnesty International.

"This makes him a prisoner of conscience, detained for exercising his right to freedom of expression, and the Chinese authorities must release him. Currently, he is at grave risk of torture and an unfair trial."

Israil fled on foot to Kazakhstan from China in September 2009, just days after giving an interview to a foreign journalist about the death in custody of a young Uighur, Shohret Tursun, in the wake of the July 2009 unrest in Urumqi, China.

After the interview the Chinese authorities issued a warrant for his arrest, along with two other individuals involved in reporting the death in custody.

The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) in Kazakhstan granted Israil refugee status in March 2010 and he was due to be resettled in Sweden on 1 April, 2010.

However, he was instead taken into custody by the Kazakh authorities in April 2010 and formally arrested in June 2010. He was in prison until his extradition this year.

The UNHCR revoked his refugee status on 3 May 2011, reportedly under intense pressure from the Chinese and Kazakh authorities. The UN refugee agency has refused to disclose the grounds for their decision.

Israil was reportedly handed over the Chinese authorities on 30 May.

Chinese nationals are prosecuted and sentenced to long prison terms for providing information deemed sensitive by the Chinese authorities to foreign sources.

Country

China 

Region

Asia And The Pacific 

Issue

Death In Custody 
Freedom Of Expression 
Prison Conditions 
Torture And Ill-treatment 
United Nations 

@amnestyonline on twitter

News

23 October 2014

The Netherlands’ repeated attempts to argue for the forcible return of Somalis to areas controlled by the Islamist armed group al-Shabaab exposes them to grave risks of human... Read more »

17 October 2014

Prisoner of conscience and torture victim Ángel Amílcar Colón Quevedo has been released from prison after five years in pre-trial detention, in a move that is welcome but... Read more »

22 October 2014

The release from prison of one of Viet Nam’s most high profile prisoners of conscience is a positive step, but authorities must now free the scores of other peaceful... Read more »

20 October 2014

An Amnesty International investigation into allegations of execution-style and other deliberate killings by pro-Russian separatists and pro-Kyiv forces has found evidence... Read more »

17 October 2014

Testimonies gathered by Amnesty International indicate that Egyptian security forces used excessive force to crack down on recent student demonstrations at Alexandria... Read more »