China ordered a Uyghur journalist extradited to Xinjiang. His wife has taken to the Istanbul streets to stop it

This investigation is part of the Justice for Journalists Foundation Investigative Grant Programme and was originally published by Coda Story. 

Buzainuer Wubuli is determined to outmaneuver the pressure China exerts on foreign governments to have her husband, Idris Hasan, released from a Morocco prison before he is sent back to Xinjiang

Every day is a protest for Buzainuer Wubuli, 28, and her three young children. Her husband, Idris Hasan (Yidiresi Aishan), is a journalist, computer engineer and activist. He is one of the thousands of Uyghurs living abroad being sought out by Chinese authorities in an attempt to bring them back to Xinjiang. 

“It is this feeling that we Uyghurs cannot escape China wherever we go,” said Buzainuer Wubuli (Zeynure Obul). “Uyghurs in our homeland are being disappeared in prisons and camps. Outside the country, Uyghurs are not allowed to live in peace anywhere.”

For the past 10 years Wubuli’’s husband has faced constant harassment and detention by Turkish authorities — further evidence of China’s reach in Turkey, according to Wubuli — pushing him to finally leave the country with a plan for his family to follow. He was unaware that China had issued a red notice for him and was arrested in July 2021 while in transit in Casablanca. Today Idris Hasan is being held in a Moroccan prison.

Following international outcry, Interpol canceled the red notice for Hasan. However, Moroccan authorities decided to follow through with Hasan’s deportation in light of a recently signed extradition treaty with China. Hasan would be the first Chinese national extradited under the treaty that was signed in early 2021. The UN Committee Against Torture has pressured Moroccan authorities to pause the extradition while it reviews Hasan’s case, a process that could take weeks, months, even years.

This has left Hasan’s wife and children living in limbo. However, Wubuli has launched her own campaign of resistance for her husband’s release.

This is her story.