China holding Uyghurs in Dubai, says detainee
A Chinese woman claims that China has a detention center in Dubai where it is holding Uyghurs, according to The Associated Press.
Wu Huan, 26, told the AP that she was abducted from a hotel in Dubai and detained by Chinese officials in a villa that had been converted into a detention center.
According to Wu, she was aware of at least two Uyghurs at the detention center when she was there.
Wu told the AP that she was held for eight days, and that the guards who interrogated her wore masks and spoke in Chinese.
Wu’s fiancé, Wang Jingyu, 19, is wanted for making posts on social media questioning China’s response to protests in Hong Kong as well as clashes near the Indian border.
The two are not Uyghurs, but Han Chinese, the majority ethnic group in China.
Wu is currently on the run, avoiding extradition to China as her fiancé is considered to be a Chinese dissident. She is seeking asylum in the Netherlands.
Wu told the AP that she was questioned and threatened in Chinese and forced to sign documents incriminating her fiancé before she was released on June 8.
China has come under increasing criticism in the U.S. for its treatment of Uyghurs. It has also led to criticism of U.S. companies, from tech giants to the NBA, over their business in China.
China is set to host the Winter Olympics next year.
As the AP reports, Wu’s contentions may be the first evidence of Chinese “black sites” being operated outside of China’s borders. The AP was unable to independently verify Wu’s account, though it reports seeing evidence to support her experience, including stamps on her passport and recordings of a Chinese official asking her questions.
China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told the AP, “What I can tell you is that the situation the person talked about is not true.”
Dubai authorities also shot back at suggestions that its police would detain a Chinese woman on behalf of a foreign country.
“Dubai does not detain any foreign nationals without following internationally accepted procedures and local law enforcement processes, nor does it allow foreign governments to run any detention centers within its borders,” the Dubai government office said.
“Dubai also follows all recognized global norms and procedures set by international organizations like Interpol in the detainment, interrogation and transfer of fugitives sought by foreign governments.”