Uyghur teenage girl in Saudi Arabia could be deported to China internment camp, Amnesty warns
Amnesty International has called on Saudi Arabia to release four members of China’s Uyghur minority, including a teenage girl, at risk of being sent back to China where they could be held in repressive detention camps.
Buheliqiemu Abula and her 13-year-old daughter were arrested near the holy city of Mecca on Thursday and told that they faced deportation along with two other Uyghur men, according to a statement released by the human rights group on Thursday.
Aimidoula Waili and Nuermaimaiti Ruze, two Uyghur religious scholars held in the kingdom since November 2020, are also set to be deported.
The Saudi authorities must immediately release 4 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.https://t.co/60Bmy4QYPk— Amnesty International (@amnesty) April 4, 2022
"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," said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
"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 the Riyadh authorities to uphold their obligations and stop the deportations."
This is not the first time rights groups have urged Riyadh to halt Uyghur deportations to China. Earlier this year, both Amnesty International and Human Rights called on Saudi Arabia to end the detention and potential deportations of Waili and Ruze.
China is notorious for its repression of the country’s Uyghur Muslim minority, where up to a million are being detained.
There they face forced labour, political indoctrination, forced sterilisation, and other horrific abuses, human rights groups have said.
Beijing initially denied the existence of the camps, but later defended them as 'training centres' aimed at countering 'Islamic extremism'
Several major powers, including the US and France, have labelled China's actions as 'genocide'.