Jul 18, 2006

Uyghur Asylum Seeker Extradited from Germany

Germany is the first democratic country to forcibly extradite Uyghur asylum seeker to China.
On 13 July 2006 the German authorities forcibly deported the 42-year-old Uyghur asylum seeker Mr. Muhtar Tiliwaldi, to China.
At 12am the detainee was accompanied by two police from a holding centre for deportees to Frankfurt Airport, where he will be escorted to China.

Mr. Muhtar Tiliwaldi arrived in Germany in 1998 seeking political asylum. Unfortunately his application was rejected, alongside the applications of 100 other Uyghurs. From 2001 to 2006 he lived with exceptional leave to remain in Mainz. On 16 June 2006 he was arrested by the German police and held in the police holding centre for deportees.

Despite the protest of the two associations, the Eastern Turkestan Europa Union and the World Uyghur Congress, he was deported yesterday to China.

This first violent extradition of an Uyghur asylum seeker to China from a democratic country like Germany upset me, said Dolkun Isa, President of the Eastern Turkestan Europa Union. I am deeply worried for Mr. Tiliwaldi as there is a high risk that he will be tortured in China. This event has dismayed every Uyghur living in Germany and Europe. This is the first time that an Uyghur cant feel safe in a western democratic country.

Every attempt by Uyghurs [in China] to preserve their own traditional culture and religion is described as separatism and criminalised.
Chinese government reactions to Uyghur demonstrations are very harsh. This may entail the arrest and imprisonment of peaceful Uyghurs. Use of torture, summary trials, and death sentences are also common.

East Turkestan is the only region in China in which, as far as Amnesty International can ascertain, political prisoners are executed. Since 1997, at least 210 people were sentenced to death and at least 190 were executed, according to Amnesty International.

In the past years thousands of people were arbitrarily arrested, many of them are still in custody.

According to Amnesty International, torture of political prisoners in Eastern Turkestan occurs systematically. It remains the only region in China where such methods are still used.
Amnesty International has, for many years, documented the increasing number of forced deportations of Uyghur asylum seekers and refugees to China from neighbouring countries like Nepal, Pakistan, Uzbekistan or Kirgizstan.

Amnesty International notes that many deported Uyghurs face gross human rights violations such as torture, unfair trials or even execution.
The Eastern Turkestan Europa Union is profoundly worried about the situation in East Turkestan as the actions of the Chinese authorities have increased tensions in the country.

The Chinese government must finally understand that it is their unfair domination of East Turkestan of the past 57 years that has been the prime cause of numerous unrests.
The Uyghurs are the biggest minority in China, with 25 million people.