Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Uighur student missing in Hong Kong, feared detained – The Diplomat


Abuduweli Abudurehman has gone missing after being questioned by police at Hong Kong airport.


A Uighur student has been missing in Hong Kong for more than two weeks after she sent a message that she was being questioned by Chinese police at the city’s airport, a human rights group said Friday.

Amnesty International said Abuduweli Abudureheman, born in western China’s Xinjiang, traveled from South Korea to Hong Kong on May 10 to visit a friend, where he is pursuing a PhD. Sent a message to his friend about being interrogated after he arrived.

“Given the background of crimes against humanity committed by the Chinese government against Uyghurs in Xinjiang and the ongoing pursuit of Uyghurs traveling abroad, the unknown fate of Abuduweli Abudurhayman is very concerning,” Alkan Akad, Amnesty International’s China researcher, said in a statement. Worrying.” ,

He said it appeared that the student was detained and interrogated, and that raised questions about the Hong Kong government’s possible involvement in human rights violations committed by the Chinese government against Uighurs.


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The Hong Kong government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Hong Kong is a former British colony that returned to Chinese rule in 1997 with the promise that it could retain its Western-style freedoms and autonomy for 50 years. But critics say Beijing is increasing its control over the region and curtailing its independence.

Most controversially, a national security law imposed by Beijing on Hong Kong in 2020 states that offenses of secession, subversion, terrorism and “collusion with a foreign country or external elements” could be punished with life imprisonment Is. person charged under law – Which applies to both Hong Kongers and foreigners, including those just visiting the city – Can be sent to mainland China for testing.

Critics say the offenses outlined in the national security law are overly vague, allowing the government to arrest and charge people for political speech and innocuous interactions with foreigners.


The United Nations and human rights groups have accused China of locking up a million or more Uyghurs and members of other predominantly Muslim groups in camps where many have said they were tortured, sexually assaulted and killed. Forced to give up language and religion.

China denies the allegations, based on interviews with survivors and photographs and satellite images from the Xinjiang region, where many Uyghurs live.

Beijing has also pushed for Uighurs seeking asylum abroad in countries such as Turkey and Thailand to be sent back to China, where many fear imprisonment or torture.

Amnesty International said it understood that Abuduweli Abudurrahman, who had been studying in Seoul for seven years, was on the Chinese government’s “watching list” because of his history of traveling abroad, and asked Hong Kong authorities to disclose his whereabouts. requested.

He is “at grave risk of torture on the basis of his ethnicity and religion. If he is detained, he should be provided access to a lawyer and relatives, and protected from any ill-treatment,” Akad said. Said.