Forty five human rights bodies have sought the release Uyghur activist YidiresiAishan (34) from Moroccon authorities as he faces the risk of extradition to China after one year of detention.
The case of YidiresiAishanor Idris Hasan has brought a spotlight on China’s tactics of misusing the Interpol system to repatriate overseas dissidents.
Experts informed that China has been openly using its economic power to expand its influence in geo-politics by moulding international institutions in a systematic manner to suit its interests.China began exerting its influence on interpol after 2016. It became a leading country in the interpol after the election of Chinese vice minister of public security, Meng Hongwei, as president of the Interpol.Elected partly on the strength of his record of combating graft in China, Meng had elicited plenty of skepticism from critics who feared that his position would enable China to more readily use Interpol as a means of pursuing dissidents abroad. An Amnesty International officialfound the results of the election “extraordinarily worrying.”
Also, China has long been accused of abusing Interpol’s Red Notice System (RNS), which basically arrests individuals pending an extradition agreement. However, it has selectively used this service to repatriate Chinese nationals wanted by the authorities for engaging in political/religious activism or expressing views contrary to that professed by the Chinese Communist Party.
China’s repatriation strategy is linked to RNS because it freezes all international bank accounts and increases travel restrictions for the targeted individuals. According to available information, China had issued around 100 Red Notices against so-called economic fugitives through Operation Skynet in 2015. Out of 100, 51 have already been repatriated. Interestingly, succumbing to immense pressure and sustained Chinese threats, 35 of the 51 identified ‘criminals’ “voluntarily” returned to China. Many targeted individuals returned home because of harassment of their families.
China had issued a red notice for World Uygur Congress president and German based activistDolkun Isa for his arrest for 20 years until 2018, during which he
was detained or threatened with extradition to China in at least five countries
that he travelled to, including the United States, South Korea and Italy.
The red notice had been issued in 1999 by the Chinese authorities which had accused him of murder in 1996, although he had left China and fled to Turkey in 1994. This notice, however, later had to be revoked in 2018 due to lack of evidence. In October 2018, China had arrested Meng at home on suspicion of taking bribes and informed Interpol that Meng had resigned. His arrest demonstrated that China viewed its own version of justice as superseding the
integrity of an international organization.
Uyghur activist YidiresiAishan and misuse of Red notice by China
Thirty four year old computer engineer, YidiresiAishan or Idris Hasan has been in the custody of Moroccon authorities for the last one year. Though it is not a high profile case but it is certainly the most publicised one.
China had requested Interpol to issue a red notice to Aishan as he belonged to a terrorist organisation following which the Moroccon authorities arrested him on the night of July 19-20 2021 at Casablanca airport when he arrived from Turkey. He had been living in Turkey with his family since 2012. . After his arrest, Moroccon authorities maintained that his arrest at Casablanca airport took place during border control formalities, which revealed that he was the subject of an international arrest warrant subject to a red notice for belonging to a terrorist organization, disseminated against him on March 13, 2017, by the International Criminal Police Organization (ICPO-Interpol), on the basis of a request from the Chinese judicial authorities on July 10, 2014.
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. As a party to the above legal instruments, Morocco has an obligation to abide by their provisions.
However, China’s plan to extradite Aishanto the mainland,suffered a jolt in August 2021. The international police body cancelled the red notice for Aishansought by Beijing after it conducted a review, as accusations mount that it is being used to repatriate dissidents to China. After cancellation, the interpol informed all 194 member countries about its decision.While this was a great victory for Aishan, his nightmare was still not entirely over.
According to Amnesty International, UK chapter, the Moroccan Court of Cassation issued a favourable opinion on the extradition request in its ruling on December 15, 2021. Four UN Special Rapporteurs later made a request to 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”. The UN Committee against Torture (CAT) later granted interim measures, requesting that Morocco not extradite Aishanto China. Though Aishan is still in Morocco but hecontinues to remain at high risk of extradition to China where he will likely face serious human rights violations including arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, or torture.
Amnesty International’s investigation disclosed that human rights violations committed by the Chinese government in Xinjiang were between 2017 and
2021, including those occurring outside the internment camps. The evidence Amnesty Internationalprovided 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.
Meanwhile, human rights organisations have sought from the Moroccan authorities to cancel the extradition proceedings against Aishan and release him from his year-long detention, which, in the absence of periodic judicial review, individual assessment, and credible grounds, may amount to arbitrary