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Uyghurs Detained In Saudi Arabia Face Deportation To China


ALQST condemns the Saudi authorities’ decision to deport two detained Uyghur Muslims back to China, where they face the risk of torture or forcible disappearance. The family of one of the detainees, Hemdullah Abduweli, say they do not know the exact date when he is to be deported; and that when they wrote to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 23 November 2020, requesting that Abdulweli and his friend Nurmemet Rozi be allowed to leave Saudi Arabia for a safe country, they did not receive any reply.

The Saudi authorities arrested Abduweli and Rozi in November 2020 while they were on pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia. They have still not explained the reason for the men’s arrest.

The Uyghur people in China have suffered continuous repression for years, and increasingly so in recent times. There are many cases where China has been accused of torture, enforced disappearance and arbitrary arrest, raising fears that Abduweli and Rozi will face the same fate. Abduweli’s daughter Nour Iman has told ALQST that her father works as a tailor in Istanbul, Turkey, where he has been living since 2016; she insists he has nothing to do with politics and denies rumours that he gave a speech to the Uyghur community in Saudi Arabia calling for armed resistance to China.

ALQST calls on the Saudi authorities urgently to release Hemdullah Abduweli and Nurmemet Rozi; drop any charges that may have been brought against them; and ensure that they are allowed to depart to a safe, neutral destination, and not deported to China.


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