Canadian citizen extradited to China could be put to death
Tue, 27 Jun 2006- CBC
Uzbekistan has extradited a Canadian citizen to China, where he faces
a death sentence.
Huseyincan Celil was sentenced to death in China for human rights work.
The 37-year-old was sentenced in absentia for founding a political
party to work on behalf of the Uighur people, a minority ethnic group
in the Xinjiang province.
A father of six, Celil fled China in the mid-1990s. He came to Canada
in 2001 from Turkey as a refugee and became a Canadian citizen.
The Burlington, Ont., resident has been held in an Uzbekistan jail
since March. He was arrested in March while trying to renew his
visitor's visa in the capital Tashkent.
A spokesperson for Foreign Affairs said the department informed
Celil's family of the development on Monday and is trying to confirm
where Celil is being held.
Celil and his wife have three children in Ontario and he has three
more in China, a family friend told the Hamilton Spectator in April.
The same friend said Celil was in Uzbekistan in an attempt to try to
get his three children out of China, but didn't explain how.
China: Rights Groups Accuse Beijing Of Suppressing Uyghurs,
By Grant Podelco
Two U.S.-based human rights groups are accusing China of misusing the
country's laws to crack down on the Muslim Uyghur community, the
largest non-Chinese ethnic minority in the region. In a joint report,
Human Rights Watch and Human Rights in China say the systematic
repression of religion continues in the western Xinjiang Autonomous
Province as a matter of "considered state policy." In its first public
reaction to the report, China says ethnic groups in Xinjiang enjoy all
religious freedoms according to the constitution.
"They don't want Islam to become an organizing force for political
thinking," Adams said. "I think that's it in a nutshell. The fear is
that people who have a heightened Islamic identity may start banding
together. They may start thinking alike. This is not about radical
Islam, although the Chinese government tries to make it out to be.
This is about normal Islam, about normal religious identity."
HRW says China has used the post-11 September 2001 environment to
claim that individuals disseminating peaceful religious and cultural
messages in Xinjiang are terrorists. It notes that, in 2002, Beijing
successfully lobbied Washington to support its efforts to place the
East Turkestan Islamic Movement on the United Nations' list of
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