Warming relations between China, Taliban cause fear among Uyghurs: Report

  • The Uyghur community feels that the Taliban could send members of the community to China in a bid to curry favour with Beijing.
A demonstrator from the Uyghur Community gestures as he takes part in a protest(AFP)
A demonstrator from the Uyghur Community gestures as he takes part in a protest(AFP)
Updated on Sep 05, 2021 10:01 PM IST
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Written by Shankhyaneel Sarkar | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

Refugees from the Uyghur community continue to live under fear as China and the Taliban continue engagement at a diplomatic level. Before the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, a Taliban delegation led by Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar met Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, which created distress among the Uyghurs in Afghanistan, news agency ANI reported citing a report by CNN. In that meeting, Wang Yi had urged the Taliban to crack down on the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM), a group that is believed to be fuelling unrest in China’s Xinjiang province while operating from Afghanistan.

The Uyghur community feels that the Taliban could send members of the community to China in a bid to curry favour with Beijing. The news agency in its report cited that Uyghurs who escaped persecution in China and entered Afghanistan 45 years ago are now worried about getting deported to China.

Many Uyghurs hold Afghan citizenship but despite that their identification cards still identify them as Chinese refugees including those who are second-generation Uyghurs living in Afghanistan, according to the report by news agency CNN.

The US and several other nations continue to raise a concern about the persecution of Uyghurs in China in Xinjiang province. Human rights experts believe that 2 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities were passed through a network of detention centres across the region. The detainees who went to the centres claim that they were subjected to political indoctrination, forced labour, torture and sexual abuse.

Uyghur refugees say that no countries are ready to take them as issuing of passports have also been halted. “They don't give passports for free, and we can't afford it. But now they have stopped issuing the passports anyway,” a member of the community told CNN.

Uyghurs are also considered outsiders in Afghanistan and have not found any takers to help them out of this situation.

China denies allegations of human rights violation and genocide against Uyghurs. It says that members of the Uyghur community are sent to ‘vocational training centres’ in an attempt to stop them from being radicalised.

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Monday, November 29, 2021