Hong Kong slams Amnesty over ‘missing’ Uyghur man

Sunday, May 28, 2023

HONG KONG: Hong Kong on Saturday “strongly condemned” rights group Amnesty International for its accusation that a Uyghur man had gone missing after he arrived at the city´s airport. The group said in a statement Friday that Abuduwaili Abudureheman, born in China´s northwestern region of Xinjiang, travelled from South Korea to Hong Kong on May 10 to visit a friend and had not been heard from since. His final communication was a brief text to his friend waiting at the airport saying “Chinese police are asking me questions”, according to the message shown to AFP by Amnesty. In a statement late Saturday, the Hong Kong government said Amnesty´s claims were “groundless and unfounded” and “slandered the human rights situation” in the city.

“The records of the HKSAR Government show that the person has not entered or been refused entry by Hong Kong,” a spokesperson said, demanding an apology from the group. Amnesty told AFP in response that the group “will remain concerned for (Abuduwaili´s) safety” and that his friend is still unable to contact him.

The friend, who requested anonymity for safety concerns, told AFP on Saturday that Abuduwaili chose to visit Hong Kong. “He miscalculated... he did not understand the grave consequences,” the friend said. The text message attributed to Abuduwaili -- which AFP has not been able to independently verify -- was written in simplified Chinese and told his waiting friend to leave without him. “I´m being checked, Chinese police are asking me questions, and it may take time for me to get out,” the message read.