Pressure on Turkey to protect Uighurs as China ratifies extradition treaty

Pressure on Turkey to protect Uighurs as China ratifies extradition treaty

Ankara has long welcomed Uighur and Turkic Muslims fleeing China but rights groups fear the treaty will endanger them

Beijing has ratified an extradition treaty with Turkey that human rights groups warn could endanger Uighur families and activists fleeing persecution by Chinese authorities if it is adopted by Ankara.

The treaty, signed in 2017, was formalised at the weekend at the National People’s Congress, with state media saying it would be used for counter-terrorism purposes. Facing strong opposition within its parliament, Turkey’s government has not yet ratified the deal, and critics have urged the government to abandon it and prevent the treaty from “becoming an instrument of persecution”.

China’s persecution of the Uighur minority in Xinjiang has escalated in recent years, amounting to what experts have said is cultural genocide. More than 1 million people are thought to have been detained in internment camps, and there is growing evidence of re-education programmes, restrictions on religious and cultural beliefs, enforced labour schemesmass surveillance and forced sterilisation of women.