Amnesty calls for Saudi to release not extradite 4 Uyghurs

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Amnesty International yesterday called on Saudi Arabia to release four Uyghur, including a mother and her 13-year-old daughter, and not send them to China where they could face torture.

“Saudi authorities must immediately release 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,” Amnesty International said, noting that deportation plans may be underway.

“Buheliqiemu Abula and her teenage daughter were detained near Mecca on Thursday and told by police they faced deportation to China along with two Uyghur men already held,” a message received by Abula’s friends stated according to Amnesty.

Abula is the former wife of Nuermeiti Ruze, Amnesty said, noting that she has been detained without charge in Saudi Arabia along with Aimidoula Waili since November 2020.

“Deporting these four people – including a child – to China, where Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities are facing a horrific campaign of mass internment, persecution and torture, would be an outrageous violation of international law,” Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said.

READ: The Muslim world must do more to help Uyghurs being persecuted in China

She added: “With time seemingly running out to save the four Uyghurs from this catastrophic extradition, it is crucial that other governments with diplomatic ties to Saudi Arabia step in now to urge Riyadh to uphold their obligations and stop the deportations.”

Waili and his friend Nuermaimaiti Ruze were transferred from Jeddah to Riyadh and back again on 16 March, friends told Amnesty, stating that they believed this move signalled imminent extradition to China.

“The Saudi government must abandon any attempt to extradite the four Uyghurs to China and release them from detention immediately, unless they are charged with an internationally recognisable crime,” Lynn Maalouf said.

“Strategic allies of Saudi Arabia, such as the United States and the United Kingdom, must not stand by while it wilfully ignores human rights law. The international community must do everything it can to prevent the illegal extradition of Uyghurs to China.”

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