The US news agency was unable to confirm or deny Wu Huan’s story (26), a story which according to the Associated Press may be the first evidence that China operates secret prisons outside the country’s borders.
Wu says she was kidnapped from a hotel in Dubai in late May and held by Chinese officials in an apartment building that had been turned into a prison. She is said to have seen or heard two other prisoners she believes belong to China’s Muslim Uyghur minority.
Wu says she was interrogated in Chinese, and forced, among other things, to sign a document stating that her fiancé, a 19-year-old who is considered a Chinese dissident, had molested her.
The 26-year-old is now seeking asylum in the Netherlands after being released on June 8, according to her own statement.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying denied the woman’s statement.
– What I can say is that the position the person is talking about is incorrect, he says.
Dubai authorities were asked for comment, but the Associated Press did not receive a response to their inquiries, neither by email nor by phone.
Activists have previously chosen Dubai, which is part of the United Arab Emirates, as a place where Uyghurs are interrogated and deported to China. The authorities in Dubai are accused of directly contributing to secret investigations on behalf of other countries.
There is no doubt that the UAE has arrested people on behalf of allied foreign governments, says Radha Stirling, a lawyer in charge of a group of activists detained in Dubai (they were arrested in Dubai).
“I never think they would shrug their shoulders at the behest of such a powerful ally,” she says.
The former US ambassador is skeptical
However, the former US ambassador to Qatar, Patrick Theros, believes that the accusations are completely at odds with the way the UAE usually acts. Theros is now an advisor to the Gulf International Forum.
According to Lu, she was first interrogated by Chinese officials at the hotel where she stayed on May 27. Then the local police took her to a police station, where she spent three days.
On the third day, she was visited by a Chinese man who was said to have introduced himself as Li Xuhang, and said that he worked for the Chinese Consulate in Dubai. According to Wu, she was asked, among other things, whether she had received money from foreign groups to harm China.
Li Xuhang is listed as Consul General on the website of the Chinese Consulate in Dubai. The consulate did not respond to AP inquiries about comment.
– Head to the villa
Wu claims that she was then handcuffed and put in a black Toyota. Half an hour later, she was said to have been moved to a three-story villa, where the rooms were turned into cells.
The guards allegedly gave her a phone and a SIM card and told her to call her fiancé and Reverend Bob Fu, who heads a Christian organization called ChinaAid, who helped the couple.
Fu says he has received four or five calls from Wu, some from an unknown number in Dubai. In one conversation, she was said to have cried and spoke incoherently.
After the release of the 26-year-old girl, according to her own statement, she flew to Ukraine, where she was reunited with her fiancé, and then they flew to the Netherlands, where they are now seeking asylum.
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