Renowned Uyghur scholar arrested in Saudi Arabia at risk of deportation to China

Uyghur activist Abduweli Ayup has raised concerns about Waili's arrest, saying that he could face a lengthy prison sentence in China if he is deported. 

A renowned Uyghur Muslim religious scholar was arrested in Saudi Arabia on Friday amid fears that he could be deported back to China.

Activists fear that Aimadoula Waili, who originates from Xingjiang, will be deported to China following his arrest in the kingdom.

Uyghur activist Abduweli Ayup has raised concerns about Waili’s arrest, saying that he could face a lengthy prison sentence in China if he is deported. 

According to Ayup, Waili was arrested at 8 pm on Friday along with another Uyghur, Nurmemet Rozi, and has been able to speak briefly to his wife over the phone since his arrest.

According to the reports, Waili is being held in the Buraiman prison in Jeddah.

“Abduweli telephoned his wife and told her that he was at risk and that she should take action. His wife then told me that Saudi state security had arrested him and that she is trying to contact lawyers,” Ayup said.

“There are no formal charges against him, and he doesn’t have any criminal records in Saudi Arabia or Turkey.” 

Waili went to the kingdom in February this year to perform the Umrah pilgrimage, from Turkey where he was residing and has lived in Saudi Arabia since then.

According to Ayup, Waili was picked out as he is an important religious scholar and was previously arrested in Xinjiang in 2013 and 2014 for his preaching.

Ayup said that because of Waili’s track as a political prisoner in China, the authorities have pursued to harass and follow him abroad. 

“Saudi Arabia is vital to Uyghurs because Makkah is there, and our people go there because of that. How can the state uphold its reputation as the protector of the holy sites when they cannot protect Uyghurs?” Ayup asked.

“Saudi Arabia should not be a hypocrite; they should state if they can or can’t protect Uyghurs.”

Image

Rozi, a 44-year-old Uyghur businessman arrested alongside Waili, had also arrived in Saudi Arabia in February to perform the Umrah pilgrimage. 

According to Ayup, he has been jailed for helping Waili by giving him a mobile phone and contacting activists and Uyghur organizations.

What are your views on this? Share with us in the comments below.


  • Featured Content⭐

    >