Senate Foreign Affairs Committee members mentioned the exclusive report in a discussion with Human Rights Watch’s China director Sophie Richardson.
“CNN reported that a Uyghur man had been abducted from his pregnant wife in Dubai and extradited to China,” Rubio said in his opening statement to the committee on Thursday. “If we do not fight back against the CCP’s extraterritorial reach now, one day we will find that such practices will increase to the point that many places outside of China will be as dangerous as the territories are directly controlled by the CCP. ”
CNN’s report, released on Tuesday, recorded a series of suspected detentions and forced deportations from three major Arab countries at the request of China: the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt. A Uyghur is still threatened with deportation from Saudi Arabia.
Reports of the disappearance of Uyghurs have unsettled the predominantly Muslim global diaspora from the Chinese region of Xinjiang, home to a large number of predominantly Muslim ethnic groups. The Uighurs, with their own culture and language, are the greatest of them.
In recent years, Beijing’s policy towards minorities in the region under President Xi Jinping has hardened noticeably, which has led many to go abroad. The families of the deportees fear that their loved ones have ended up among the estimated 2 million Uyghurs who have been sent to detention centers in Xinjiang in recent years.
Former inmates and activists call these “concentration camps” – places where inmates are subjected to intense indoctrination in order to de-Islamize them, learn Mandarin, and be instructed in Communist Party propaganda.
The US State Department accuses Beijing of “genocide” against the Uyghurs. China vehemently denies allegations of human rights abuses and insists that the camps in Xinjiang are voluntary “vocational training centers” designed to eradicate religious extremism and terrorism.
As Beijing’s global influence expands, human rights activists fear that, even as Western nations hold China accountable for its treatment of Uyghurs, countries in the Middle East and beyond will be increasingly willing to step up against members of the ethnic group at home and abroad To agree abroad.
“We need to do more to address these crimes than just calling them what they are: China’s efforts to silence Uyghurs and divert the world’s attention from the ongoing atrocities include coercion and intimidation of those abroad Living Uyghurs, American residents and American citizens speak out at great risk that the Chinese Communist Party will target themselves and their family members who remain in Xinjiang, “Rubio said.
On Thursday, HRW Senator Tim Kaine Richardson asked how the US should deal with Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, citing the revelations on the CNN report. Richardson called on the US and its allies to give Uyghurs the right to apply for asylum until the deportations are challenged in a “competent court” in accordance with international law.
Kaine said the US would consider the “good thought”. If the arrests took place in allied nations – all three countries named in the CNN report are important allies of the US – the US could possibly “bring people here according to traditional asylum rules, other nations would also participate. ”
The HRW receives weekly reports about Uyghurs at risk of deportation, said Richardson.
“Not a week goes by that we don’t deal with a case of someone in danger and in danger of being sent back,” said Richardson. “(Governments) fail to understand that people are at disproportionate risk simply because of their ethnicity if they are sent back.”
Richardson said the first deportation of Uyghurs documented by HRW was in 2009 from Cambodia. “And it has been a real battle in different parts of Asia, Central Asia and increasingly the Middle East,” added Richardson.
CNN repeatedly reached out to Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia to comment on the extraditions but received no response. China’s government also did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.