Three Uyghur Brothers Who Fled to India in 2013 Are in Danger of Being Deported to China

Three Uyghur Brothers Who Fled to India in 2013 Are in Danger of Being Deported to China
Mountains, Ladakh, Road image, by rakeshgoswami1 via pixabay, July 29, 2014


Marios Putro

South and East Asia Human Rights Researcher

Global Human Rights Defence

Brothers Adil, Abduhaliq, and Abdusalam Tursun are aiming to seek asylum in Canada after being detained for a decade in the northern Indian region of Jammu and Kashmir (Kashgary, 2023). After multiple failed attempts to be granted asylum, the three brothers are facing the growing prospect of being deported to China according to their lawyer Muhammed Shafi Lassu. According to him, the Indian government hesitates to release the brothers and provide them with political asylum status, which they have been delaying, due to the Chinese threat. He also claimed that he would be willing to support the brothers’ asylum seeking process through the Canadian Uyghurs Advocate Project, a humanitarian group whose objective is to assist individuals from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) in need of asylum. Meanwhile, Canada, since last February, has indicated their willingness to resettle 10,000 Uyghurs, in an attempt to address the issue of the ongoing Uyghur genocide (Kashgary, 2023).

Facing persecution from the Chinese government, the three brothers trekked through the rugged Karakoram Mountain Range and crossed into India in the Ladakh region of Kashmir. They were captured by the Indo-Tibetan Armed Police Force, a division of the local Indian Border Guard Forces, and detained for nearly two months. Furthermore, according to their lawyer, the brothers admitted to crossing the border and were transferred to a police station in Leh in Jammu, Kashmir. In July 2014, they were accused of entering illegally and were sentenced to 18 months in prison. Indian authorities however later re-indicted the brothers under a special security law in Kashmir and have extended their detention every six months for the last decade, Lassu said. According to Akash Hassan, an independent Kashmiri journalist who has drafted numerous articles on the brothers’ case, they are in danger of being sent back to China, as the Indian government has instructed relevant authorities to initiate their repatriation process (Kashgary, 2023).

Lastly, the journalist has also stated that the Indian government has a double standard in its treatment of Uyghur and Tibetan refugees. More specifically, India has shown a more favorable approach towards Tibetan refugees who have fled the Chinese-controlled Tibetan region, as many of them already reside in India. In comparison, Uyghurs have been facing discrimination. Despite India not signing the U.N Refugee Convention, it should still abide by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which was ratified in 1993, regarding the right to life, freedom from torture and any kind of punishment, fair trial rights, equality, and non-discrimination.  (OHCHR, 1966).

Sources and further readings: 

Kashgary, J. K. (2023, June 21). Three Uyghur brothers who fled into India a decade ago aim to seek asylum in Canada. Radio Free Asia. Retrieved June 22, 2023, from

OHCHR. (1966, December 16). International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.