Wife begs feds to fight deportation

Thu, April 6, 2006
Wife begs feds to fight deportation

TORONTO -- The wife of an Ontario man detained in Uzbekistan urged the Canadian government yesterday to save her husband from possible deportation to China, where she fears he faces execution as a political dissident.
Kamila Celil has not been allowed to speak with husband Huseyincan Celil, both of Burlington, Ont., since he was arrested March 26 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
"China wants to take him. He can't go to China, because they will arrest and they will kill him," Celil said. "The Canadian government has to take him from Uzbekistan."
Foreign Affairs admitted a Canadian citizen was being de-tained, and that the family has been granted consular assistance, but cited privacy laws in declining to provide specifics on the case.
"We are in touch with the wife, who is the next-of-kin," said spokeswoman Kim Girtel. "I can assure you that everything that is possible to be done is being done."
While the family has spoken with consular officials, Celil said they were able to offer little information on her husband.
"I have been in the consulate in Tashkent, but they didn't see (my husband) and they didn't talk with him yet," Celil said.
"(The Uzbekistan government) said they will not send (him) to China, but we are afraid because we don't believe them. We are very afraid about that."
The family says Huseyincan Celil, 37, was a political activist fighting for the rights of the Uighur population in Xinjiang province, in northwestern China, when he was arrested there and tortured.
Celil escaped from prison in 1998, and fled to Uzbekistan and Turkey before coming to Canada as a refugee in 2001. He became a Canadian citizen late last year.

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