Bitter Winter reported on the case of two ethnic Kazakhs who escaped the transformation through education camps. Some brave European politicians, led by Lithuanian MP Mantas Adomėnas, now speak up in their favor.
MEMBERS OF THE PARLIAMENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA
The President of Kazakhstan H.E. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev
The Prosecutor General of the Republic of Kazakhstan Mr. Gizat Nurdauletov
The Director of the Border Service of the National Security Committee of the Republic of Kazakhstan Major General Darkhan Dilmanov
On behalf of Kaster Musakhan and Murager Alimuly
19th December, 2019
We, the undersigned Members of the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania and of the European Parliament, are extremely concerned over the fate of two ethnic Kazakhs, citizens of the People’s Republic of China Messrs. Kaster Musakhan and Murager Alimuly, who escaped from the threat of the People’s Republic of China prison camps in Xinjiang and are currently being detained in Kazakhstan.
On October 1, 2019 Kaster Musakhan and Murager Alimuly, having found themselves under the threat of arrest, sentencing to prison camp, and torture in their home country, escaped Xinjiang and managed to cross the state border into Kazakhstan near the village of Shilikti. Thereupon they travelled to Almaty and sought asylum in Kazakhstan. They claim they were subject to persecution in China; they also testify that the so-called “transformation through education” camps are inhumane jails and describe their experiences of being repeatedly tortured.
We are extremely worried by the fact that a criminal case has been instituted against Messrs. Kaster Musakhan and Murager Alimuly under Article 392, Part 1, of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan, for illegally crossing the state border, whereas the punishments for this crime may be a fine of 1000 MCI or deprivation or restriction of liberty for up to one year, with expulsion back to their country of origin.
Moreover, we are dismayed by the information that the People’s Republic of China exercises pressure on Kazakhstan to have Kaster Musakhan and Murager Alimuly sent back to the People’s Republic of China.
Therefore we respectfully draw your attention to the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees whose Article 33, dealing with the “Prohibition of Expulsion or Return (Refoulement)” (to the countries from which refugees arrived), states that, “No Contracting State shall expel or return (‘refouler’) a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.”
We also animadvert you to the Article 1, Part 3 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan, which states that international treaties ratified by the Republic of Kazakhstan take precedence over the Criminal Code, and therefore the provisions of the Geneva Convention on Refugees should be considered as having precedence in application to this case.
We strongly urge you to take into account and recognise increasingly growing volume of documentary materials attesting the presence of prison camps in the Xinjiang region, as well as the horrendous and inhumane treatment of prisoners therein.
Therefore we, the undersigned Members of the Parliament of the Republic of Lithuania and of the European Parliament, appeal to Your Excellencies, respectfully requesting
- to stop extradition proceedings and withdraw the criminal charges against Kaster Musakhan and Murager Alimuly;
- to recognise Kaster Musakhan’s and Murager Alimuly’s right to asylum;
- to recognise the genocide carried out against the Turkic Muslims in the People’s Republic of China.
Mantas Adomėnas, MP
Ingrida Šimonytė, MP
Gabrielius Landsbergis, MP
Emanuelis Zingeris, MP
Radvilė Morkūnaitė-Mikulėnienė, MP
Audronius Ažubalis, MP
Žygimantas Pavilionis, MP
Aušrinė Armonaitė, MP
Egidijus Vareikis, MP
Dovilė Šakalienė, MP
Aušra Maldeikienė, MEP