Uighurs in front of a mosque in the city of Urumqi in Xinjiang, China
Laura Harth from the international "Safeguard Defenders" stated that the organization is trying to determine the current location of Uyghur, with which all communication was cut off after landing at the airport in Belgrade.
"According to his fiancée, Kahar Haitamu, who has been legally resident in Turkey since about 2010, was detained upon his arrival in Belgrade on December 2. His last contact was shortly after he said police were transferring him. Since then, all communications have been cut off, "Harth, director of the Safeguard Defenders human rights group's campaign, told Radio Free Europe (RSE) on December 5th.
"Safeguard Defenders" is a non-governmental human rights organization that works to protect human rights in, as stated on the site,
Harth said that the organization, together with the local non-governmental Belgrade Center for Human Rights, is actively trying to understand where Kahar Haitamu, who is a member of the Uighur community, is currently located and whether there is a request for extradition or deportation to China.
"At the moment, it is not clear on what basis he was arrested or whether an Interpol red warrant was issued in his name. In addition to the obvious concerns for Kahar's security and welfare, "take urgent measures to stop China's international hunt," she added.
The Belgrade Center for Human Rights confirmed to RSE that they are in contact with Safeguard Defenders and that they are trying to determine where Kahar Haitamu is and whether any proceedings have been initiated in his case.
Uighurs, along with other Muslim minorities, such as Kazakhs or Kyrgyz, have become the target of Chinese authorities for "re-education camps" because their religion is considered a threat to the Chinese state and communism.
Several secret Chinese government documents leaked to the public, as well as reports from international organizations and testimonies, revealed the repressive actions of the Chinese authorities within the camps.
Beijing denies abusing Uighurs and other minorities in Xinjiang, saying it provides "professional training to eliminate Islamist extremism and separatism and to teach new skills."
Laura Harth also assessed that it is necessary to turn the words of an increasing number of parliaments, which recognize the current genocide or crimes against humanity in Xinjiang and which call for the urgent suspension of bilateral extradition agreements with China, into government action and establish mechanisms to protect refugees. .
RFE contacted the Serbian Ministry of Internal Affairs regarding this case, but that institution was not available for urgent comment.
In 2020, Serbia supported a declaration defining the violation of human and minority rights of Uighurs in the Chinese province of Xinjiang as "the fight against terrorism and extremism."
By supporting the declaration, Serbia found itself against the countries of Europe and the world that strongly condemn the Chinese campaign of repression against the Uighur Muslim minority, and above all the mass detention of these people in so-called "camps for political re-education". The document states, among other things, that China "responding to the threats of terrorism, separatism and extremism that have caused enormous damage to all ethnic groups in Xinjiang, has taken a number of measures in accordance with the law to protect their human rights." "Security and stability have been restored in Xinjiang. The human rights of people of all ethnic groups are effectively protected," the declaration said.