Saudi Arabia Set to Deport 2 Uyghur Muslims to China; Only Lip Service to Islamic Causes?

Is Saudi Arabia paying only lip service to global Islamic causes? According to reports, despite its attempts to show itself as the saviors of Muslims worldwide, the Kingdom is set to deport two Uyghurs back to China. This has come at a time when Uighur Muslim community members face human rights abuse and are in internment camps in Xinjiang province.

The two men have been detained in Saudi arbitrarily since November 2020 and face the risk of being repatriated to China.

Representational Picture Pxfuel

Why Did Saudi Arabia Detain Uyghurs?

Religious scholar Hamidulla Wali (in Chinese, Aimidoula Waili) and his roommate Nurmemet Rozi (Nuermaimaiti Ruze) traveled to the country from Turkey on a Muslim religious pilgrimage to Mecca and were arrested on November 2020. Authorities allegedly have never told them why they were arrested and detained, according to rights groups, according to RFA.

Amnesty International was informed by the family members of Wali and Rozi on March 16 that the duo are being transferred from Jeddah to Riyadh and they believe the move is aimed to deport the two to China.

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Saudi authorities revoked Rozi's Saudi Arabian residency card on Wednesday and sent an official notice about it to his local sponsor, a source who declined to be identified for safety reasons told RFA on Friday.

China's Uyghur Internment Camps

China has been blamed by the global human rights watchers, the US and other Western countries that Beijing is involved in the violation of human rights abuse of Uyghurs in the country. Uyghurs are majorly found in China's Xinjiang province, where local officials have detained them in the internment camps.

China has been maintaining that these are vocational camps or mind rewiring centers to not let any Muslims become radical but reports by International Consortium For Investigative Journalists have revealed that these camps harrass Muslims and violate their human rights.

Xinjiang in China Wikimedia commons

Nearly a million Muslims are detained in the camps for unknown reasons and despite continuous global calls against camps, China is continuing with this exercise.

However, Western countries have imposed various sanctions against Chinese officials and companies operating in the Xinjiang region in an attempt to discourage such practices.

Recently, the US-led West's diplomatic boycott of the Olympic Games being held in China was triggered by China's human rights abuse in Xinjiang and the move attempted to press Beijing to close such facilities and start respecting their rights.

This article was first published on March 27, 2022