In what may be the first evidence that China is operating a so-called ‘black site’, a 26-year-old woman, Wu Huan, revealed that she was abducted from a hotel in Dubai and later detained by Chinese officials at a villa converted into a jail. Wu Huan claimed that she saw or heard two other prisoners who were reportedly Uyghurs. The woman alleged that she was held for eight days. Huan was on the run to avoid extradition back to China because her fiancé was considered a Chinese dissident. While speaking to the Associated Press (AP), Huan said that she was questioned and threatened in Chinese. Also, the officials forced her to sign legal documents incriminating her fiancé for harassing her. She is now seeking asylum in the Netherlands, added Huan.

China denied allegations made by a 26-year-old woman

“Black sites” are secret jails where prisoners generally are not charged with a crime and have no legal recourse, with no bail or court order. Many in China are used to stop petitioners with grievances against local governments, and they often take the form of rooms in hotels or guesthouses. However, when the news agency tried to figure out the location where the woman was detained for eight days, she failed to pinpoint the exact location. Meanwhile, when asked about the woman’s serious allegation over the Chinese government, Foreign Ministry denied operating any such secret jails outside the country.

Dubai denied answering any queries

“What I can tell you is that the situation the person talked about is not true,” ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said Monday. The Chinese Consulate in Dubai did not respond to several requests for comment. Dubai also did not respond to multiple requests for comment to the Dubai Police, the Dubai Media Office, and the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. It is worth mentioning that Dubai also has a history as a place where Uyghurs are interrogated and deported back to China. And human rights activists say Dubai itself has been linked to secret interrogations involving other countries.

China targeting Uyghur families to silence activists abroad, says Rights group

According to World Uyghur Congress (WUC), Chinese authorities have intensified their targeting of Uyghurs abroad, threatening to detain or imprison their family members in East Turkistan if they do not stop speaking out. “Tearing Uyghur families apart is a skill that the Chinese Communist Party has mastered over the past years, adding intense grief and guilt to the repression we are already suffering”, WUC President, Dolkun Isa said. “By detaining Uyghur parents, siblings, and children, or forcing them to denounce their relatives abroad, the Chinese government exploits innocent people to crack down on Uyghurs abroad, attempting to prevent them from speaking out on the Uyghur genocide.”

(With inputs from AP, ANI)

(Image Credit: AP)