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Urgent Interventions

Enforced disappearances of four Uyghur men_Fear for their safety

Case CHN 180711

Forcible return/ Enforceddisappearances/ Fear for the safety

The International Secretariat of the WorldOrganisation Against Torture (OMCT)requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in the People’s Republic of China.

Brief description of the situation

TheInternationalSecretariat of OMCT has been informed by a reliable source and AntennaInternational, a member organisation of OMCT SOS-Torture Network, about theenforced disappearances of Mr. Ershidin Israel and his brother Mr. Shemshiden Israel,Mr. Abdusalam Nasir and Mr. Abdukerin Dihan, fourUyghur men from the Xinjiang UyghurAutonomous Region (XUAR). OMCTis gravely concern about their safety and fears that they may be at risk oftorture and ill-treatment.

According to the information received, Mr. Ershidin Israel, a38 years oldUyghur asylum seeker, was forciblydeported to China from Kazakhstan, on 30 May 2011. The Chinese authorities have reportedly onlydisclosed that he is being held in custody facing “major terror” charges,without providing information about his fate and whereabouts.

According to the same information received, Mr. Ershidin Israel fled China to Kazakhstan in late September2009 after having provided information to Radio Free Asia (RFA) about thealleged torture to death of a Uyghur detainee, Mr. Shohret Tursun[1], and the subsequent arrest of two Uyghur men whom the Chineseauthorities also accused of providing information on the case to RFA[2].In Kazakhstan, Mr. Ershidin Israel reportedly applied for asylum to the office of the UNRefugee Agency (UNHCR) in Almaty and received refugee status in mid-March 2010.At the end of March 2010, UNHCR had secured a resettlement offer for Mr. Ershidin Israel from Sweden, where he was supposed to fly to on 1st April 2010. However, the Kazakh authorities reportedly then refused Mr. Ershidin Israel’s application for an exit visa, indicatingthat his name appeared on an Interpol’s Red Notice and that they wanted tointerrogate him. The Kazakh authorities firstly authorised Mr. Ershidin Israel to live in a “safe place” designated byUNHCR and guarded by Kazakh security forces. During several months, he wasreportedly interrogated by the authorities about his background and on how hecrossed the border into Kazakhstan.

According to thesame information, on 23 June 2010, Mr. Ershidin Israel was formally arrested after the Chineseauthorities made an extradition request on the basis of terrorism allegationsagainst him. Between June 2010 and May 2011, Kazakh courts reportedly rejected Mr.Ershidin Israel’s applications for asylum and uphold thedecision to arrest/extradite him. On 3 May 2011, the UNHCR also withdrew Mr. Ershidin Israel’s refugee status, without providing anyinformation. Mr. Ershidin Israel was extradited to China, without his family and lawyer being informed,on 30 May 2011, and, on 14 June 2011, the Chinese authorities confirmed thatMr. ErshidinIsrael was in Chinesecustody, facing “terror charges”, but without disclosing his whereabouts.

OMCT has also been informed about the arrest byChinese security forces, shortly after his extradition to China, of one of Mr. Ershidin Israel’s brother, Mr. Shemshiden Israel, on13June 2011, in Urumqi, on allegedirregularities in a car business, as well as of Mr. Abdusalam Nasir and Mr. AbdukerinDihan, on 9 June 2011, in Suydung (Guljadistrict). The Chineseauthorities have reportedly since then refused to disclose information abouttheir whereabouts, legal statuses or well-being.

According to the sameinformation received, Mr. Abdusalam Nasir, Mr. Abdukerin Dihan and Mr. Enver Israel, another of Mr. Ershidin Israel’s brother, werereportedly among a group of 20 Uyghur men detained in 2009 after Mr. Ershidin Israel provided informationabout Mr. Shohret Tursun to RFA. They were later released in 2010.

The InternationalSecretariat of OMCT is gravely concerned about the safety of the abovementioned Uyghur individuals and their relatives,and accordingly urges the competent Chineseauthorities to immediately disclose their whereabouts as well as guaranteetheir physical and psychological integrity, at all times, in accordance with international human rightslaw, in particular the UN Convention AgainstTorture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment to whichChina is a State party.


Please write to theauthorities in the People’s Republic of China urging them to:

i. Take all necessary measures to immediatelylocate and disclose the whereabouts of the four abovementioned Uyghur;

ii. Guarantee,in all circumstances, their physical and psychological integrity;

iii. Grantthem immediate and unconditional access to a lawyer of their choice and theirfamilies, as well as guarantee that they are examined by independent doctorsand receive adequate medical care if necessary, in accordance, inter alia, with the UN Standard MinimumRules for the Treatment of Prisoners;

iv. Order their immediate release in the absence of validlegal charges that areconsistent with international law and standards, or, if such charges exist,bring them before an impartial, independent and competent tribunal andguarantee their procedural rights at all times;

v. Guaranteethe respect of human rights and the fundamental freedoms throughout the countryin accordance with national laws and international human rights standards.


Ø Mr. Wen Jiabao, Prime Minister of thePeople’s Republic of China, Guojia Zongli, The State Council General Office, 2Fuyoujie, Xichengqu, Beijingshi 100017, People’s Republic of China, Fax: +86 10 65961109 (c/o Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Ø Mr. Wu Aiying, Minister of Justice of thePeople’s Republic of China, Buzhang Sifabu, 10 Chaoyangmen Nandajie,Chaoyangqu, Beijingshi 100020, People’s Republic of China, Fax: +86 10 65292345, /

Ø Mr. Meng Jianzhu, Minister ofPublic Security of the People’s Republic of China, Buzhang, Gong’anbu, 14Dongchang’anjie, Dongchengqu, Beijingshi 100741, People’s Republic of China,Fax: +86 10 63099216

Ø PermanentMission of the People’s Republic of China, Ch. De Surville, CP 85, 1213 Petit-Lancy 2, Suisse,e-mail:, Fax : +41 22 793 70 14

Please also write to the embassies of the People’s Republic of China in your respective country.


Geneva, 18 July 2011

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting thecode of this appeal in your reply.

[1] According to the information received, in July 2009, after theviolent crackdown in Urumqi, hundreds of Uyghur, including Mr. Shohret Tursun, Mr. Ershidin Israel, Mr. HajiMemet and Mr. Abdusalem Nasir were detained, and people were executed forinvolvement in the rioting. The crackdown was one of the most violent in yearswith over 200 people killed in Urumqi, the regional capital. Mr. Shohret Tursun’s dead body was reportedly returned by the Chineseauthorities to his family in September 2009 covered with wounds and bruises butthe authorities claimed he died of a heart attack. His family was forced tobury the body without any inquiry about his death.

[2] Radio Free Asia broadcasted and publishedstories on this case on 19 September 2009 and 21 September 2009 based on information that Mr. Ershidin Israel and two other witnesses provided.

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