Kazakh kidnapped, imprisoned on dual citizenship charge



Friday, September 14, 2018

A Kazakh girl pleads for on
behalf of her family member,
who is experiencing
persecution in China's
Xinjiang. (Photo: ChinaAid)
ChinaAid

(Khorgas, Xinjiang—Sept. 14, 2018) An immigrant was kidnapped by two Chinese agents and jailed in “re-education camp” for allegedly holding dual citizenship while he was returning to Xinjiang on Dec. 7, 2017, ChinaAid learned recently.

Asikaer had not yet left Kazakhstan when the undercover police seized him, confiscated his passport, and placed him in one of Xinjiang’s notorious “re-education camps,” where an estimated 1 million people have been tortured, starved, and brainwashed. They claimed he had failed to renounce his Chinese citizenship before obtaining a Kazakh one. However, Saierkejian Bilaixi, the leader of the Kazakh civil youth organization Atajurt, said that all people from China who apply to become Kazakhstan citizens must renounce their Chinese citizenship; otherwise, their application will not be approved. As a result, it is impossible for Asikaer to hold both nationalities.

Multiple international organizations attempted to intervene on behalf of Asikaer, writing multiple petitions to Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev and other government departments, but they didn’t hear back.

One of Asikaer’s relatives, Gaohaer, said in a press conference that he would sue Chinese authorities at the International Court of Justice, located at The Hague.

Asikaer’s arrest comes in the midst of the mass incarceration of Xinjiang’s predominantly Muslim ethnic minorities, often for reasons as trivial as traveling abroad. The Chinese government often wrongly profiles them as people with terrorist connections, stirring fear among officials.

Mulatihan Sailao, a 32 year-old Kazakhstan permanent resident who also immigrated from Xinjiang, had his passport confiscated by local police on Aug. 10, 2017, when he returned to China to withdraw profits he made from selling property. He was detained in a re-education camp without charge on Dec. 27, 2017, and no information on him has been available for eight months.

ChinaAid exposes abuses, such as those suffered by ethnic minority people in Xinjiang, in order to stand in solidarity with the persecuted and promote religious freedom, human rights, and rule of law.


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