RSF urges Morocco not to extradite Uyghur journalist to China, where he risks torture
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) urges for the release of Uyghur journalist Yidiresi Aishan, who is facing extradition to China despite the cancellation of the Interpol “red notice” calling for his arrest.
On 16th December, the United Nations called on the government of Morocco to halt the extradition to China of Uyghur journalist Yidiresi Aishan, 33, citing the risk of “serious human rights violations”, including torture. One day before, the Moroccan Court of Cassation ruled in favour of his extradition despite the cancellation by Interpol on 2nd August of the “red notice” under which he was originally arrested. Aishan, who holds a humanitarian Turkish residency permit, has been detained in Marocco since his arrest at Casablanca airport on 19th July, following the Chinese regime’s accusations of “terrorism”.
“The Moroccan government cannot ignore the political motivation of this extradition request and would bear a heavy responsibility if exactions were committed against Yidiresi Aishan while in China,” says RSF East Asia bureau head, Cédric Alviani, who calls on the Moroccan government to “halt the extradition on the grounds of human dignity, and allow Yidiresi Aishan to seek refuge in a country of his choice”.
Aishan, also known as Idris Hasan, a Chinese national born in the Xinjiang Autonomous Region, co-founded in 2016 Shebnem, a publication intended to help Uyghurs integrate into Turkish society. For years, RSF and other human rights NGOs have denounced the surge in politically motivated Interpol “red notices” targeting dissidents in exile.
Since launching a repression campaign in the Xinjiang region in 2014 , officially “against terrorism”, the Chinese regime has arrested 71 Uyghur journalists and media professionals, including Ilham Tohti, laureate of the Council of Europe’s Václav Havel Prize and the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize, who currently serves a life sentence for "separatism".
RSF has recently published a report entitled The Great Leap Backwards of Journalism in China, which reveals the unprecedented campaign of repression led by Beijing against journalism and the right to information worldwide.
China, ranked 177th out of 180 in the 2021 RSF World Press Freedom Index, is the world's largest captor of journalists with at least 127 detained.