A plausible action, or a new case of violation of human rights in China?
China. So much to speak about it. I like China as a country and as a cultural heritage, and even I have good Chinese friends... but when things have to do with human rights and environmental issues, China is one of the worst examples worldwide. And even when it's questionable whether they're pursuing genuine justice, their previous reputation in human rights violations make think that something's wrong in the Chinese judicial systems.
This time, the authorities didn't decide to parade prostitutes in the streets of Shenzhen. Now, they decided to arrest a Chinese-born Canadian citizen, charge him with terror-related issues, and torture him while in prison.
That's Huseyin Celil's story (picture on the left), an activist who is not unfamiliar to the Chinese prison facilities. In previous occasions (1994), this Chinese Muslim has been there because of protecting Uyghur people's rights. He was able to escape such imprisonment (in which he claimed to have been tortured) and he was admitted as a refugee in Canada.
Last year, Celil was arrested in Uzbekistan and deported to China, where he was tried on charges of terrorism. He was obviously found guilty, and sentenced to 15 years imprisonment. It is important to mention that the Chinese authorities didn't let the Canadian government to intercede for him, as they didn't actually recognize their Canadian citizenship.
Now, is the Chinese authorities reasonable in this case? Not recognizing a nationality that was legally granted to a person is a sort of human rights violation, I guess. But the Chinese authorities agree with those in Uzbekistan that this individual's real name is Guler Dilaver, sought by the Interpol in connection with an attack to a Chinese delegation from Xianjing in 2002. Also, they argue that he's a member of the Eastern Turkestan Islamic Movement, an organization considered as a terrorist group by, among others, the United States. Besides, the Chinese claim that Celil, or Dilaver, is a Chinese citizen thus no consular assistance is allowed for him.
But that's the Chinese authorities' version of the story. His family claims that he's a peaceful man unfairly accused of terrorism.
Who tells the truth, and who lies in this case? It's difficult to tell. The only thing that is for sure is that the Canadian representatives are not happy of being ignored, and they keep an eye on this issue.
Meanwhile, Celil, or Dilaver, whatever his name is, is sitting at some jail right now somewhere in the city of Ürümqi... the good news for him is that China assured to the Canadians that he won't be facing a death penalty; the bad news, that it seems that he'll be sitting there for a long time.
Click here to read the note at ctv.ca