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Idris Hasan, an ethnic Uyghur living in Turkey, was arrested in July 2021 in Morocco on the basis of an Interpol red notice, which has since been cancelled. The Chinese government reportedly considers him a “terrorist”, which Chinese law defines in an overly broad and vague manner, because of the work he had previously done for Uyghur organizations. On 15 December 2021, the Moroccan Court of Cassation ruled in favour of Idris Hasan’s extradition. Idris Hasan remains in detention and at high risk of being extradited to China where he will face a real risk of arbitrary detention and torture. The Moroccan authorities must immediately cancel his extradition.
Idris Hasan (official name Yidiresi Aishan), a Uyghur Muslim Chinese national, was arrested on the night of 19 July 2021 at Casablanca airport on the basis of an Interpol red notice issued at the request of the Chinese authorities. He was subsequently taken to a prison near the town of Tiflet, in northwestern Morocco, where he remains held.
The Chinese government reportedly considers him to be a “terrorist”, because of the work he had previously done for Uyghur organizations and requested Idris Hasan’s extradition based on an extradition treaty China signed with Morocco in 2016. Chinese law defines “terrorism” and “extremism” in an overly broad and vague manner which has been used to persecute Uyghurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities.
There is detailed testimonial and documentary evidence that the Chinese government has committed at least the crimes against humanity of imprisonment, torture and persecution against Uyghurs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities in Xinjiang on the basis of their religion and ethnicity.
Morocco is obliged under international law not to transfer any individual, including through deportation or extradition, to a country where that person would be at real risk of torture or other serious human rights violations. Despite Interpol having since cancelled the red notice, due to non-compliance with its Constitution, Idris Hasan has remained in prison and on 15 December 2021 the Moroccan Court of Cassation ruled in favour of his extradition to China (ruling No. 1799). If extradited to China, he will be at real risk of arbitrary detention and torture and his extradition would violate Morocco’s obligations under international law.
Write to the Head of the Moroccan Government urging him to:
- immediately cancel Idris Hasan’s extradition to China
Head of the Moroccan Government
Mr. Aziz Akhannouch
Palais Royal Touarga
Fax : 011 212 53 7771010
Copies to: Minister of Justice Abdellatif Ouahbi
Salutation: Your Excellency:
Her Excellency Souriya Otmani
Embassy of the Kingdom of Morocco
38 Range Road
Ottawa, ON K1N 8J4
Phone: 613 236 7391
Fax: 613 236 6164
Idris Hasan is a 34-year-old computer designer who has been living in Turkey since 2012, with his wife and three children. He is a Chinese national from Korla, Xinjiang, and belongs to the Uyghur ethnic group. He was arrested on the night of 19 July 2021 at Casablanca airport where he was in transit to Western Europe after leaving Turkey, where he no longer felt safe.
In August 2021, several UN Special Procedures mandate holders recalled the absolute and non-derogable prohibition on returning persons to a place where they would be in danger of being subjected to torture or other ill-treatment, in accordance with Article 3 of the UN Convention against Torture, to which Morocco is a party. The principle of non-refoulement is also contained in the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICPPED). As a party to the above legal instruments, Morocco has an obligation to abide by their provisions.
However, on 15 December 2021, the Moroccan Court of Cassation issued a favourable opinion on the extradition request in its ruling No. 1799. The day after, on 16 December 2021, four UN Special Rapporteurs urged the Moroccan government not to implement the Court of Cassation’s decision citing the risk of “serious human rights violations, including arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, or torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.
On 20 December 2021, the UN Committee against Torture (CAT) granted interim measures, requesting that Morocco not extradite Idris Hasan to China. Thanks also to international pressure, he is still in Morocco, but the Moroccan authorities have still to reply to the CAT request of interim measures. Idris Hasan remains at high risk of extradition to China where he will likely face serious human rights violations including arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, or torture.
Xinjiang is one of the most ethnically diverse regions in China. More than half of the region’s population of 22 million people belong to mostly Turkic and predominantly Muslim ethnic groups, including Uyghurs (around 11.3 million), Kazakhs (around 1.6 million) and other populations whose languages, cultures and ways of life vary distinctly from those of the Han who are the majority in “interior” China.
Since 2017, under the guise of a campaign against “terrorism” and “religious extremism”, the government of China has carried out massive and systematic abuses against Muslims living in Xinjiang. It is estimated that over a million people have been arbitrarily detained in internment camps throughout Xinjiang since 2017.
Amnesty International’s 2021 report, “Like We Were Enemies in a War”: China’s Mass Internment, Torture, and Persecution of Muslims in Xinjiang is the most comprehensive account to date of the crushing repression faced by Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities in Xinjiang. Amnesty International’s investigation details human rights violations committed by the Chinese government in Xinjiang between 2017 and 2021, including those occurring outside the internment camps. The evidence Amnesty International has gathered provides a factual basis for the conclusion that the Chinese government has committed at least the crimes against humanity of imprisonment, torture and persecution against Uyghurs, Kazakhs and other predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities.
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