PRESS RELEASE - Stateless, Without Valid Travel Documents and Under Threat of Deportation
By Uyghur Aid - July 24, 2019
A growing number of Uyghurs fall into this category, as their Chinese passports are expiring while in exile, and the Chinese government appears unwilling to issue them with new passports without them returning to East Turkestan (a.k.a Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region). No Uyghur in their right mind would dare to take that trip, in a very realistic fear of imminent detainment.
Hence we have an increasing amount of Uyghurs in diaspora without valid identification documents, work permits, extensions to their student visas and without proper health care. Some young families have not even been able to register their newborns.
There are already hundreds of Uyghurs in a limbo outside of China waiting to be deported back to their country of origin. It is well known, what is awaiting them: These individuals will immediately be detained upon their arrival by the Chinese border control. For an Uyghur having lived abroad amounts to a crime in the eyes of the Chinese government. We have seen more than once, how groups of Uyghurs simply disappear into the vast network of political “re-education” camps after having been deported back to China. In reality they are large scale concentration camps.
In 2017 seventy young Uyghur students were deported from Egypt to China and one hundred Uyghurs, that had managed to escape from China to Thailand in 2014 were detained and later deported back to China by the Thai authorities in 2015. No-one seems to know, where these people are now. China is not a safe country for Uyghurs to live at this moment, and countries, especially in the free democratic world would do well in following the example of Sweden in allowing Uyghurs to apply for a refugee status in their country.
The democratic countries need to be prepared for the vast numbers of Uyghurs seeking for some kind of status, and most likely that of a refugee, in the free world in the coming months and years. Everyday some Uyghur’s Chinese passport is expiring, and for an Uyghur in exile that’s not a small problem.
Uyghur Aid has launched a project to assist Uyghurs in exile, whose travel documents have expired or are about to be expire. We will help bring their documented cases before the U.N, The E.U and the Foreign ministries of the many countries where Uyghurs reside. We have interviewed many Uyghurs and are able to provide journalists with evidence of the present situation.