Last Updated: June 11, 2023, 21:07 IST
On the 10th year anniversary of their detention, the Centre for Uyghur Studies (CUS) urged the international community, in particular the Indian authorities, to look into the ordeal of three Uyghur siblings who fled to Kashmir from China’s persecution and have been under the custody of Indian immigration authorities since 2013.
The Uyghur siblings — Adil, Abdulhaliq and Salam — were 16, 18 and 20 years old, respectively when they fled China after some of their relatives were detained by the Chinese regime, according to their lawyer.
“The siblings crossed the border when they had no other option available to them to escape from the persecution of the Chinese authorities. Moreover, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) that detained the siblings initially did not find anything against them except that they crossed the border illegally. However, their case remains unresolved after a decade-long predicament. This issue requires urgent attention of the Indian government to bring an end to their plight,” said the CUS.
The CUS called on the Indian authorities to safeguard the principles outlined in international law, particularly those related to human rights and humanitarian considerations. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights emphasise the importance of safeguarding and protecting the fundamental rights and well-being of all individuals, regardless of their immigration status. “The prolonged detention of the young Uyghurs who have only fled China to find safety in a third country is detrimental to their well-being and future. The genocide the Uyghur people are facing in their homeland is no longer a secret to the world. In lieu of this reality, the Indian government must ensure that the siblings will not be deported to China.”
Abdulhakim Idris, Executive Director, CUS, said, “While we acknowledge the need for the Indian authorities to maintain and enforce immigration laws, we urge them to consider the unique circumstances surrounding the Uyghur siblings’ situation. The Indian authorities must ensure that they do not deport the siblings to China, where they will face imminent persecution and threat to their lives. Furthermore, we call upon the Indian government to take a humanitarian and compassionate approach to their case, free them from the prolonged detention and grant them an opportunity to rebuild their lives.”
The CUS stressed that by providing an opportunity to the young Uyghurs, India would demonstrate its commitment to upholding humanitarian values and fulfilling its international obligations. It would also contribute to the promotion of human rights and democracy for the Uyghurs as a whole.