RFA : Background of the risks of Uyghur visits to Central Asia RFA : Background of the risks of Uyghur visits to Central Asia

RFA : Background of the risks of Uyghur visits to Central Asia

RFA : Background of the risks of Uyghur visits to Central Asia

In the last 1-2 years, Uyghurs from the United States, Australia and Europe have become more interested in visiting Uzbekistan, and it is known that some Uyghurs are planning to visit Tashkent this summer. Although it is normal for Uighurs in the West who do not have the opportunity to visit their own country to visit Uzbeks whose language, culture and living environment are close to them, the risks cannot be ignored.

According to the data of the "Novastan" network, the largest "counter-terrorism office" in Central Asia, established to deal with the Chinese Uyghurs, is located in Tashkent. Tashkent is still not considered a safe place for Uyghurs in Western countries, especially for Uyghur political activists.

On February 29, the Novastan network, based in Berlin and Paris, published an interview titled "Crackdown in Xinjiang Faces Mild Criticism in Central Asian Countries." The main purpose of the interview was to clarify the meaning of Chinese repression against Uyghurs and shed light on the reasons for Kazakhstan's silence on the Uyghur genocide.

Novastan Network interviewed Emmanuel Lincot, a professor at the Catholic Institute of Paris, a researcher at the Institute of International and Strategic Relations, and the author of the book "The Great Game: Beijing's Approach to Central Asia," and a Chinese scholar. In the interview, Emmanuel Lincott presented several important reasons for Kazakhstan's silence on the Uyghur genocide, and argued that Central Asian republics have become a dangerous area for Uyghurs in exile.

Mr. Ghayur Kubat, a situation analyst in Berlin, believes that China's influence in the Central Asian republics has reached a huge level, and Chinese spies are everywhere, and it is still a big risk for Uyghurs living in Western countries to travel to cities such as Almaty, Bimek, and Tashkent.

Some noteworthy points related to Uyghurs in Emmanuel Lincott's statements can be summarized in the following points:

One of the most important reasons for Kazakhstan's silence on the Uyghur genocide is that it has become politically and economically dependent on China. Tokayev, who succeeded Nazarbayev as the president of Kazakhstan, became closer to China. He chose the way to ensure Kazakhstan's development and security by playing the "Chinese card" in the shadow of China's "New Silk Road" project. He sees a move away from China as "dangerous." Therefore, the current Kazakh Uyghur government will continue to turn a blind eye to the genocide, will not listen to the complaints of Kazakh camp witnesses, and will not allow any anti-Chinese activities to flourish in Kazakhstan.

Second, the largest "anti-terrorism office" in Central Asia established to deal with Chinese Uyghurs is located in Tashkent, and all member countries of the "Shanghai Cooperation Organization" in Central Asia have signed conventions to arrest "Uyghur terrorists" and hand them over to China at China's request. The government of Uzbekistan is also obliged to abide by these conventions. That is, if China requests, the Tashkent government will not refuse to hand over "Uyghur terrorists". As at that time Canadian citizen Husanjan Jaleel was arrested and handed over to China.

Omar Bekali, a witness of the camp who fled from the pressure of the government in Kazakhstan and the threat of China, and sought political asylum in the Netherlands, believes that the Central Asian republics are not very dangerous for those with European passports, but they are still dangerous areas for Uyghurs in countries such as Turkey.

The Center for Uyghur Studies in Washington, D.C. released a report on February 26 titled "Revealing China's Penetration in Central Asia." Abdulhakim Idris, director of the organization, said that the Chinese regime is ruling Central Asian countries as if they were their own province. He believes that it is still dangerous for Uyghurs living in Western countries, especially Uyghur political activists, to travel to Central Asian countries in the current situation.

According to Emmanuel Lincott, China's biggest concern in Central Asia is that China's interests will be attacked by terrorist forces. China fears that its basic infrastructure in Central Asian countries, including Tajikistan or Afghanistan, will be attacked by Islamic State forces, al-Qaeda, the Baluchis who continue to devastate the port of Gwadar in Pakistan, and other similar terrorist forces. Uyghurs living in Central Asian countries are not a threat to China at the moment. Because of this, on February 8, the peaceful protest of Kazakh camp witnesses in front of the Chinese Consulate in Almaty was dispersed. Since 2021, various forms of protests by the Kazakh people against China have been brutally silenced.


  1. It's making Central Asia dangerous for them.

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