Demand the release of Buzainafu Abudourexiti from imprisonment without charge
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Imagine being newly married, expecting your first child and waiting to join your husband in his country to begin your lives together. Then out of the blue, you are arrested without charge and imprisoned, with no hope of legal representation, and no way of contacting your family. You face certain torture and terrible circumstances in prison.
This is what happened to Buzainafu Abudourexiti.
Buzainafu, an ordinary Uighur woman, was taken away from her parents’ house in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR), on 29 March 2017 and transferred to the city of Akesu, 1,000km away. According to sources, she was sentenced on 5 June, without any legal representation, to seven years imprisonment and is currently being held at Urumqi Women’s Prison. No official documentation about her case, including what charges she has been convicted of, have been provided to her family. Buzainafu Abudourexiti was pregnant at the time of her arrest, however it is believed that she is no longer with child. Nothing is known about her current health status.
Buzainafu Abudourexiti, went to Egypt to study Islam at Al-Azhar University for two years. She returned to Urumqi in 2015 and worked at her father’s company while learning English. Planning to join her new husband in Australia, she then went back to Egypt in September 2015 to receive the necessary documentation for her visa application. She received the necessary clearance from the Urumqi police department for her visa, and her husband had lodged an application for her spousal visa prior to her detention.
The detention of Buzainafu Abudourexiti may be part of a wider crackdown on the Uighur ethnic minority. According to Radio Free Asia (RFA), Chinese authorities have been compelling Uighur students enrolled in universities abroad to return to China since May 2017. In early July, approximately 200 Uighurs were detained in Egypt by order of the Chinese authorities, with 22 who have been forcibly returned have not been heard from since. Media reports have illustrated the extent of the new draconian security measures implemented since Chen Quanguo, the new XUAR Party Secretary, came into power in 2016, including over 90,000 new security-related positions being advertised within a one-year period. In October 2016, there were numerous reports that authorities in the region had confiscated Uighur passports in an attempt to further curtail their freedom of movement.
We urge the authorities to:
Ensure that Buzainafu Abudourexiti has regular, unrestricted access to family and lawyers of her choice, and is not subjected to torture and other ill-treatment;
Immediately and unconditionally release Buzainafu Abudourexiti unless there is sufficient credible and admissible evidence that she committed an internationally recognized offence and is granted a fair re-trial in line with international standards;
Allow her prompt, regular and unrestricted access to medical care on request or as necessary.
Amnesty International has verified this case and is working with her husband to provide support.
Buzainafu committed no crime. She was pregnant with her first child, hoping to join her husband in Australia. She was imprisoned with no charge, with no chance for legal representation and with no access to doctors.
Please sign and share this petition. Help us put pressure on the authorities to return Buzainafu to her family and husband.
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