SMHRIC: PRESS RELEASE: International human-rights coalition urges the Swedish Migration Court to avoid mistake of deporting those who need protection

PRESS RELEASE: International human-rights coalition urges the Swedish Migration Court to avoid mistake of deporting those who need protection
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

SMHRIC
January 20, 2021
New York

A group of 24 international human-rights and activists groups has issued an open letter, to the Swedish Migration Court to stress their grave concern that should Mr Baolige Wurina be deported to China he faces as an exile activist and minority, a very high risk of persecution through unfair trial, imprisonment and inhumane treatment including risk of torture.

The letter urges Swedish authorities not to turn a blind-eye to the warning signs of the cultural genocide under way in Southern Mongolia, also known as “Inner Mongolia”, marked most recently by the ban of the Mongolian language and sweeping arrests of protesters by Chinese authorities. Louisa Greve of Uyghur Human Rights Projects reiterates, “We know from Xinjiang that step-by-step elimination of native language education is a red flag for slow-motion cultural genocide”.

Enghebatu Togochog, Director of New York-based Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Centre continues, “We urge the Swedish court to recognize the true severity of what the ruling will have on the life of Baolige Wurina. Southern Mongolians have for decades been systematically oppressed by Chinese authorities in what amounts to a slow-motion genocide, regardless of what the Swedish court thinks they understand of the situation. Mongolian dissidents and exiles have a history of being imprisoned through unfair trials by the Chinese security apparatus that operate in all regions. It is certain that Baolige, having partaken in protests against China that have been amplified through this case, will face persecution in an notoriously opaque prison system should he be deported”
The letter highlights cases of past exiles of similar circumstances who have disappeared upon return, which demonstrate clearly the most probable fate awaiting Mr Wurina and must not be overlooked. The coalition calls for the Swedish court to uphold its international obligations, including its commitment to prevent refoulment – the deportation of a person at risk of inhumane treatment upon return. Mr Togochog continues: “Given that Sweden cannot guarantee the safety of Mr Wurina, and the poor human-rights record of China in regards to minorities and dissidents, the Swedish Court must not make the error of assuming that China will give Mr Wurina ‘fair’ treatment, when such ‘fair’ treatment does not exist in reality”.

The letter also stresses the very high risk that should the deportation of Mr Wurina to China go ahead, history will likely judge this as a failure of the Swedish immigration judicial system to live up to international commitments thus a threat to become a stain to the integrity of the systems as a whole. The letter continues: “this failure would not only have severe consequences on the life of Mr Wurina, but would also make the court complicit in the continued persecution and human rights abuse of minority dissidents by Chinese authorities”. It ends by stressing that the Court must review their ruling in order to ensure that protection is given to those who need protection, thereby reiterating the international standing of Sweden as a guardian of human rights.

On behalf of the following organizations:

Campaign for Uyghurs, Washington
Free Tibet, London
FreedomUmmah, Jakarta
Friends of Tibet, Bulgaria
Forum for Religious Freedom-Europe (FOREF Europe), Vienna
Grupo de Apoio ao Tibete, Portugal
International Society of Human Rights (Sweden branch), Stockholm
International Tibet Network, London
Inner Mongolian People’s Party, Sweden
Mongolian Culture Association of Sweden, Stockholm
Safeguard Defenders, Madrid
Santa Barbara Friends of Tibet, Santa Barbara
Society of Threatened Peoples (German branch), Göttingen
Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Centre, New York
Students for a Free Tibet, Japan
Save the Mongolian Language, Russia
Southern Mongolia Congress
Swedish Tibet Committee, Stockholm
The Norwegian Tibet Committee
Tibet Support Group Nederland
Tibet Initiative Deutschland
Uyghur Human Rights Project, Washington
Uyghur Aid, Finland
Youth Liberation Front of Tibet, East-Turkistan, Manchuria & Inner-Mongolia, New Delhi

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