On December 15, Amnesty International revealed that Moroccan authorities have agreed to transfer Uyghur activist Idris Hassan to China.
Beijing accused Hasan of being a member of a terrorist organization and asked Interpol to issue a red notice against him. Hasan was apprehended by Moroccan officials on July 19, but Interpol’s red alert was lifted on August 2.
Hasan was caught in July after crossing the border from Turkey to Morocco. The Uyghur guy had been in Turkey on a “humanitarian permission” that was about to expire. His wife and children are citizens of the United States.
The activist had lived in Turkey since 2012 before escaping because, as he put it, “he did not feel comfortable there.”
Beijing asked Rabat to hand up Hasan in July, labeling him a “terrorist.”
Human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and MENA Rights have urged Morocco not to give over the activist to Chinese authorities. NGOs have warned of the dangers of arbitrary arrest and torture in China.
On July 20, Hassan appeared before the Casablanca Court of First Instance, which ordered his detention at Tifelt prison. Since then, the Court of Cassation has been investigating the deportation request.
Hasan is one of several Uyghurs who escaped China after allegations of widespread detention of the minority community by Chinese authorities in reaction to the region’s violent separatist insurgency, which claimed around 1,000 civilian deaths between 1997 and 2014.
The Uyghurs are a Muslim Turkic ethnic group from the Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China. The Uyghurs speak a Turkish-like language and consider themselves to be culturally and ethnically related to Central Asian countries.
According to Western human rights organizations, Uyghurs are currently oppressed in China, including reports of torture and incarceration in Chinese political prisons.