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Egypt rounds up Uyghur Muslims at behest of Chinese !

Egypt rounds up Uyghur Muslims at behest of Chinese !

The Uyghurs

Uyghurs come from predominantly Muslim autonomous province of China, known officially as Xinjiang and locally as East Turkestan.

Beijing has placed a series of restrictions on religious practice in the region.

Many Uyghurs in Egypt have fled political and religious persecution and repression in their homeland, where violence between militants and the state is common.

The Uyghurs Uyghurs come from predominantly Muslim autonomous province of China, known officially as Xinjiang and locally as East Turkestan. Beijing has placed a series of restrictions on religious practice in the region. Many Uyghurs in Egypt have fled political and religious persecution and repression in their homeland, where violence between militants and the state is common.

Panic is spreading among Cairo’s Uyghur community as Egyptian security forces round up students in raids on houses, schools and mosques, as part of a crackdown apparently carried out at the behest of the Chinese government.

“The government has been making arrests for three months now, but it was mostly people with expired visas,” a Uyghur source in Cairo told Middle East Eye on Thursday.

Panic is spreading among Cairo’s Uyghur community as Egyptian security forces round up students in raids on houses, schools and mosques, as part of a crackdown apparently carried out at the behest of the Chinese government. “The government has been making arrests for three months now, but it was mostly people with expired visas,” a Uyghur source in Cairo told Middle East Eye on Thursday.

“They don’t check for visas anymore. They just violently arrest, and we don’t know where they [those arrested] are now.”

Photos of ransacked Cairo flats began circulating on social media on Wednesday, with reports of security forces arresting even those with valid visas and others holidaying on beaches near Alexandria.

Meanwhile, students were reportedly hiding at home, but face being rounded up by Egyptian police. The MEE source said there were reports of sweeping arrests at al-Azhar University, where many Uyghurs were studying Arabic and Islam.

“They’re mostly arresting the young men,” a member of the Uyghur community called Sumaya told MEE. “But I know of women who have been taken too, though we hide when we hear the government knocking on our door.”

The raids and arrests come after Chinese authorities ordered Uyghur overseas students to return home by 20 May, as part of a government move to screen political views and activities, reported Chinese media at the time.

Chinese government representatives have since reportedly shown up in predominantly Uyghur areas in Cairo, stopping by mosques and schools to order students return to China, members of the community told MEE.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Wednesday urged Egyptian authorities to disclose where those who had been arrested were being held, and to “not deport them back to China, where they face persecution and torture”.

HRW said it believed dozens of people hade been arrested and were due for deportation.

“They don’t check for visas anymore. They just violently arrest, and we don’t know where they [those arrested] are now.” Photos of ransacked Cairo flats began circulating on social media on Wednesday, with reports of security forces arresting even those with valid visas and others holidaying on beaches near Alexandria. Meanwhile, students were reportedly hiding at home, but face being rounded up by Egyptian police. The MEE source said there were reports of sweeping arrests at al-Azhar University, where many Uyghurs were studying Arabic and Islam. “They’re mostly arresting the young men,” a member of the Uyghur community called Sumaya told MEE. “But I know of women who have been taken too, though we hide when we hear the government knocking on our door.” The raids and arrests come after Chinese authorities ordered Uyghur overseas students to return home by 20 May, as part of a government move to screen political views and activities, reported Chinese media at the time. Chinese government representatives have since reportedly shown up in predominantly Uyghur areas in Cairo, stopping by mosques and schools to order students return to China, members of the community told MEE. Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Wednesday urged Egyptian authorities to disclose where those who had been arrested were being held, and to “not deport them back to China, where they face persecution and torture”. HRW said it believed dozens of people hade been arrested and were due for deportation.

* Names have been changed for security reasons

 

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2017 in News

 

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