Detention camp ©Getty Images

Saudi Arabia: Uyghur child among four ‘booked for deportation’ to China tonight


NEWSFLASH

Amnesty International has received credible information that Buheliqiemu Abula and her teenage daughter, 13, were made to take tests for Covid-19 today in preparations for their deportation to China. The police told them that they should be prepared to leave the deportation center at 9 pm local time today to board a flight bound for Guangzhou, China.

“Saudi authorities must immediately halt all plans to deport the 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,” said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

“Forcibly returning these four Uyghur people would be an unconscionable violation of Saudi Arabia’s obligations under international law. The Saudi authorities must not even think about sending them to China, where they will be subjected to arbitrary detention, persecution and possibly to torture.” 

The world has to react immediately now and stop this deportation in a matter of hours to save the four Uyghurs from this catastrophic deportation

Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa

“The world has to react immediately now and stop this deportation in a matter of hours to save the four Uyghurs from this catastrophic deportation. It is crucial that all governments with diplomatic ties to Saudi Arabia step in now to urge the Riyadh authorities to uphold their obligations and stop the deportations.”

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 or other serious human rights violations.

Background

In June 2021, Amnesty International published a report revealing how hundreds of thousands of Muslim men and women in China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region are being subjected to arbitrary mass detention, indoctrination and torture.

Earlier the same year, another piece of Amnesty research described how the children of internment camp detainees are often sent to state-run “orphan camps” where they face indoctrination and are cut off from their parents.