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18-11-06, 02:00
UCA Press Release on PM’s Firm Stance on Human Rights.



Immediate Release

November 17, 2006


Uyghur Canadian Association (UCA) expresses deepest gratitude to the
R.H. Stephen Harper, the Prime Minister of Canada, for his firm and unshakable stance in protection of the right of Canadian citizen with Chinese President Hu Jintao at the APEC summit in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Since long period of time, Canada has not seen such a strong voice from the top level government officials, particularly from Prime Minister Level, towards China’s persistent and systematic Human Rights violations.

By insisting and making the Mr. Huseyin Celil’s case a top priority of government’s agenda in discussions with Chinese President Hu Jintao, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has done something that no other Canadian Prime Minister has ever tried before.

“We are thrilled by the unshakable stand of our Prime Minister Stephen Harper, insisting to include human rights, particularly Mr. Huseyin Celil’s case in discussions with Chinese president Hu Jintao – at the APEC summit”, said Mohamed Tohti, President of Uyghur Canadian Association. “It is the beginning of new era in our foreign policy dealing with China, as a strong sign of abandoning the “speak softly”, “ keep it behind door” foreign policy and adopting new approach to defend the human rights vigorously without sacrificing it for “Almighty Dollar”

Mr. Celil is Canadian Citizen. He does not hold dual citizenship. China’s claim of Mr. Celil being a Chinese citizen is nothing but distortion. In fact Chinese Nationality Law does not recognize dual citizenship.

After arrested in Uzbekistan on bogus charges with no base in late March, 2006, Mr. Celil has been extradited to China and kept under detention illegally since then. Not only was this extradition illegal under the Geneva Conventions, it also violated article 3 and article 9 of China's Nationality Law. The charges against him are inconsistent, contradictory and without proof, but sadly in keeping with China's pattern of intimidation and harassment of the Uyghur Diaspora.

We are gravely concerned about the whereabouts and well being of Mr. Celil in China, where he would be at serious risk of grave human rights abuses, including torture, arbitrary detention and execution. His plight in jail worsens as Chinese authorities attempt to try him in court as a Chinese citizen in order to deliver a tough punishment without Canadian diplomatic interference. China’s Nationality Law does not recognize dual citizenship, therefore Mr. Celil can only be recognized as a Canadian citizen; however, all his Canadian documents have been lost by Uzbeki authorities.

China has acted illegally and failed to respect Mr. Celil's rights as a Canadian citizen to freedom of speech and non-arbitrary detention. Lawyers as well human rights advocates fear the worst for Mr. Celil based on China's track record of executing political dissidents.

The Uyghur Canadian Association is strongly calling on China to rectify its unlawful arrest of Mr. Celil by releasing him immediately and securing his freedom so that he can be returned safely to his young family in Burlington.

With the acknowledgement and great satisfaction for ongoing effort by the government to bring Mr. Celil to his home to Canada, The Uyghur Canadian Association calls on to all political parties to join hand together to send unified strong message to Chinese authorities to rectify its illegal detention of Canadian citizen and secure his immediate and unconditional release.

Mohamed Tohti

President of UCA

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