Uyghur Students in Egypt
More than 70 Uyghur students are still being held at the central security camp in Tora, Egypt, according to an Egyptian lawyer representing some of the students. Another 17 students have been forcibly disappeared and denied any legal support. Egyptian authorities have classified 30 of the students in detention as “Yellow” and requested they leave the country. Many of those students don’t have passports in their possession and their residency permits were terminated. No information has been available about those in the “Red” group – 16 students. Their lawyers and families have not been informed about their current location or whether the Egyptian government has handed them over to China or not.
IUHFRD is deeply concerned about the plight of the Uyghur students remaining in Egypt and the treatment of those that have been handed over to China. We demand the Egyptian authorities to immediately seize the deportation of Uyghurs and release those in detention. We call on human rights organizations to investigate and advocate for the rights and humane treatment of those Uyghur students who have been turned over to China as well as those who remain in Egypt.
China’s Imprisonment of Canadian Citizen Huseyin Celil
Zuo Feng, part of China’s visiting delegation to Canada, recently said that Uyghur Canadian Huseyin Celil’s life sentence has been reduced to 18 years after he took part in a re-education program. Mr. Celil is a Canadian citizen who has been jailed by China since 2007. He has been denied visits by Canadian consular officials for the past 11 years, but the Chinese official visiting Canada says Mr. Celil is now allowed to receive family visitors.
The Secretary General for Amnesty International Canada has called on the Canadian government to work towards Celil’s release and perhaps even appoint another special envoy to put more pressure on China. IUHRDF supports that statement and calls on the Canadian government to secure Mr. Celil’s release and reunification with his wife and children in Canada.
China’s Detention of Uyghur Musician Abdurehim Heyit
Earlier this week, Free Muse reported that Uyghur dutar master Abdurehim Heyit has been detained by Chinese authorities. Unofficial reports about his detention had been circulating on social media for months. Uyghur poet Tahir Hamut, who recently arrived in the United States, verified that Mr. Heyt had been arrested in April 2017 and held without charge in Urumqi.
IUHRDF is concerned about Mr. Heyit’s detention and worried that more detentions of Uyghur intellectuals, artists, musicians, and other public figures will follow. We call on human rights organizations and organizations that promote arts and music to voice their support for Mr. Heyit’s release.
International Uyghur Human Rights & Democracy Foundation’s President Rebiya Kadeer has learned that more than 30 of her relatives – including children and grandchildren – have been detained in recent months. Many of them had already been under virtual house arrest since Ms. Kadeer’s went into exile in the United States.
Trump’s Visit to China
United States President Donald Trump is scheduled to visit China during a five-nation trip to Asia beginning November 3. IUHRDF hopes that President Trump will raise human rights issues—including the plight of the Uyghurs with Chinese President Xi Jinping and call for the closure of the “re-education” detention centers in Eastern Turkistan and respect for the human rights of the Uyghur people.