Archive for September 1st, 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011

China’s Long Arm: Uyghurs deported from Malaysia / Dalai Lama can visit South Africa “any time he wants”

When there’s a problem, a good CCP cadre puts pen to paper – to have Uyghur “criminals” deported back to China from Malaysia, for example.

Malaysian authorities defended the deportation Tuesday, saying that the 11 Chinese nationals who were sent back were part of a human trafficking ring,

Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported on August 23. Now, two members of U.S. Congress,

Republican Representative Chris Smith and Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown, co-chairs of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China which looks at Beijing’s policies, also urged Malaysia not to deport five Uighur asylum-seekers still in custody,

reports AFP.

UN refugeee agency UNHCR had tried to meet the eleven Uyghur men prior to their deportation to China, as well as the five still in Malaysian custody, but had been denied access to them by the Malaysian authorities.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees spokeswoman Yante Ismail said the agency had sought access to all 16 Uyghurs. She said the five in detention had all previously applied for refugee status with the agency.

“We very much regret that the 11 individuals were deported without the opportunity for us to have access to them,” she said in a statement.

[...]

Human Rights Watch said other countries such as Thailand and Pakistan had recently deported Uyghurs back to China, adding that it revealed “the bullying hand of China.”

In its report on August 23, RFA quotes an unnamed Uyghur student in Kuala Lumpur as saying that the deportation of eleven Uyghurs then had been based on false documentation provided by Chinese authorities

Smearing Uyghurs abroad with “criminal charges” and to try to either get hold of them or impede on their activities that way would be no new approach in China’s policies on Uyghurs overseas. Even Uyghurs who are no Chinese nationals are may face difficulties when travelling abroad. Dolkun Isa, a German citizen of Uyghur descent, was denied entry by South Korean authorities two years ago, and arrested at Seoul airport on arrival. According to a Gesellschaft für Bedrohte Völker (GfbV, Göttingen, Germany) press release in September 2009, the only information he was given was that he was being held in custody on an Interpol warrant. After he had been held for two days, he was released, but had to return to Germany without having entered South Korea.

Compared with ethnic Uyghurs who have been deported to China more recently, he could still count himself lucky – to deport him to the place where he was most urgently “wanted” was no option, as he held a German passport. But for the secretary of the World Uyghur Congress, China’s “long arm” has become palpable.

For Rebiya Kadeer, the World Uyghur Congress’ chairwoman, too. Taiwan denied her entry shortly after Dolkun Isa’s case in South Korea. “For the national security of the country, we forbid Rebiya Kadeer to enter Taiwan”, minister of the interior Jiang Yi-hua (江宜樺) informed the public.

International arrest warrants, documents Dolkar Isa was held for in South Korea, and at least partly the justification for Taiwan’s government to deny Rebiya Kadeer entry to Taiwan, have become a highly politicized instrument within international judicial cooperation.

A member of another ethnic minority, the Dalai Lama, may not yet be “wanted” by Beijing. But how freely – or not – he can move internationally, may turn out again soon, as the South African authorities are processing his visa request. Archbishop Desmond Tutu celebrates his 80th birthday in Cape Town on October 7 and has invited Tibet’s spiritual leader.

In March 2009, not even a joint invitation by Tutu and former presidents Nelson Mandela and F. W. de Klerk would secure the Dalai Lama’s entry to South Africa. “We would not do anything to upset the relationship we have with China”, an unnamed South African official was quoted as saying back then.

But less than two months later, South Africa’s – then newly appointed – International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said that the Dalai Lama could now visit the country whenever he wanted.

She is still in office. If her words carry weight will be known, soon.

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Related

» Vergessen von der Welt, Süddeutsche Zeitung, June 6, 2011
» Sweden: Uighur sentenced for syping, NY Times, March 8, 2010

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