Hong Kong authorities have refuted claims of detaining a Uyghur scholar who was reported missing by human rights activists after his arrival in the city earlier this month.
According to his friends, Abuduwaili Abudureheman sent a text on May 10th stating that he was being interrogated by the police at the airport. Since then, there has been no communication from him, as confirmed by his acquaintances to Amnesty International..
Amnesty International has demanded that Hong Kong disclose his whereabouts, but the government dismissed the request as slanderous and baseless.
Hong Kong officials further stated that there is no record of Mr. Abuduwaili’s arrival in the region or any denial of entry.
The Chinese government has faced accusations of carrying out a harsh crackdown on the Uyghur Muslim minority, allegations it vehemently denies.
Mr. Abuduwaili, originally from Xinjiang, had been residing in South Korea for the past seven years, where he obtained a PhD in the sports industry and leisure. Amnesty International reported that he had traveled from Seoul to Hong Kong to visit a friend.
The organization revealed that it received information indicating that Mr. Abuduwaili was on a “watch list” of Uyghurs and other Muslims from Xinjiang who had traveled abroad. Amnesty International has documented multiple cases of Uyghur individuals being detained in China and other countries solely due to their history of foreign travel.
Alkan Akad, a researcher at Amnesty, expressed deep concern about the unknown fate of Abuduwaili Abudureheman, particularly in light of the Chinese government’s crimes against Uyghurs in Xinjiang, including crimes against humanity, as well as their ongoing pursuit of Uyghurs who have traveled overseas.
The US, UK, and international human rights observers have accused Beijing of detaining approximately one million Uyghurs in “re-education camps” in Xinjiang, where children are separated from their families and cultural traditions are suppressed.
The region is enveloped in an extensive surveillance network, including police presence, checkpoints, and comprehensive camera systems that monitor everything from license plates to individual faces.
China has also been accused of targeting Muslim figures, imposing restrictions on religious practices in Xinjiang, and demolishing mosques and tombs.
In a significant report issued last year, the United Nations accused China of committing “serious human rights violations” in Xinjiang that could potentially amount to international crimes, specifically crimes against humanity. The report called on China to release all individuals who have been arbitrarily detained.
China dismissed the UN report as a “farce” orchestrated by Western powers.