Activists urge Turkey to protect Uighurs as China ratifies extradition treaty

Uighurs fear deportation and feel threatened as China ratifies extradition treaty with Turkey. Human rights group warn that this could endanger Uighur families.

The treaty, first signed in Beijing in 2017 was ratified last weekend at the Chinese National People’s Congress.  However, Turkey is yet to ratify the treaty and there has been no update from their side.

The Uighur activists have urged the Turkey government to not abide by the agreement as they fear that this could lead to their citizens being charged for offence under false allegations. Many people who belong to this community have accused that their people have been imprisoned or sent to asylum abroad after being accused of terrorism.

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On the other hand, China denied all accusations and claimed that the policy is a step towards counter-terrorism and to reduce poverty. However, as a consequence of persecution of their people back home, Turkey’s estimated 50,000 Uighur refugees now find themselves living as an outcast.

While speaking to Middle East Eye, Australian-Uighur activist Arslan Hidayat said that by merely entertaining the treaty, Turkey had “sold out” the Uighurs.

“We Uighurs feel as though we have been sold out because obviously the Turks and the Uighurs have ethnic ties as well as religious ties. To be sold out by your own is very, very hurtful,” he told the Middle East Eye.

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From the past few years, lot of demonstrations have been taking place by the Uighur community outside the Chinese consulate in Istanbul to protest against the ill and unfair treatment of their people.

In recent years, Ankara the capital city of Turkey has grown closer to Beijing and has been involved in interrogating Uighurs.  Turkey has also been accused of sending them to other countries like Tajikistan where extradition to China is easier.

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