• EN
  • 中文
20 Dec 2021

UN Committee Against Torture requests Morocco halt extradition of Idris Hasan

UPDATE 2021-12-21

Joint appeal by NGOs* sent to the Moroccan Prime Minister on the situation of Idris Hasan.


On July 20, the King’s Prosecutor at the Casablanca Criminal Court of First Instance ordered his extradition pending a decision by the Rabat Court of Cassation. On December 15, the Court issued a favourable opinion on the extradition request in its ruling No. 1799.

During the hearings, the judges clearly disregarded the arguments made by the defence regarding the existence of “foreseeable, real and personal” risks of torture in the requesting State, both for his belonging to an ethnic and religious minority and for the accusation of affiliation to a terrorist organisation.

As part of the administrative phase of the procedure, you are now responsible for issuing an extradition order.

We wish to inform you that the UN Committee against Torture has transmitted to your government a request for interim measures dated December 20, 2021 to prevent irreparable harm to Mr Aishan. Failure to comply with the Committee’s request would seriously undermine the effectiveness of the Committee’s deliberations and cast serious doubts on the Moroccan State’s willingness to implement article 22 of the Convention in good faith.

Your government was also duly informed of the risks faced by Mr Aishan in an urgent appeal transmitted to you on August 11, in which several Special Procedures mandate holders recalled the absolute and non-derogable prohibition on returning persons to a place where they would be in danger of being subjected to torture or other ill-treatment, in accordance with Article 3 of the UN Convention against Torture to which Morocco is a party.

Furthermore, on December 16, 2021, four Special Procedures mandate holders urged the Moroccan government not to implement the Court of Cassation’s decision in favor of the extradition of Mr. Aishan to China, specifically citing the risk of “serious human rights violations, including arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, or torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”. In light of the foregoing, we urgently request your government to cancel the extradition proceedings against Mr Yidiresi Aishan in order to abide by the principle of non-refoulement.

*ACAT-Allemagne, ACAT-Belgium, ACAT-France, ACAT-Suisse, Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB), Amnesty International, Association fédérale des réfugiés vietnamiens en République fédérale d'Allemagne, Association marocaine des droits humains (AMDH), Coordination maghrébine des organisations des droits humains (CMODH), Front Line Defenders, MENA Rights Group, Safeguard Defenders, Société pour les peuples menacés, Viet Tan, World Uyghur Congress


UPDATE 2021-12-20

UN Committee Against Torture issues Interim Measures requesting Morocco to halt extradition of Idris Hasan

Immediately following the decision of the Moroccan Court of Cassation in favour of China’s extradition request of Idris Hasan (Yidireshi Aishan) on December 15, Safeguard Defenders and Mena Rights Group lodged an urgent complaint with the UN Committee Against Torture.

On December 20th, Safeguard Defenders and Mena Rights Group received direct confirmation the Committee issued interim measures requesting Morocco not to extradite Idris Hasan to China while the complaint is being fully examined by the Committee. As a State party who has declared the Committee’s competence under Article 22 of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Morocco is bound under its international obligations to respect these measures. 

On December 16, 2021, four UN Special Procedures (Nils Melzer, Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism; Mary Lawler, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; Fernand de Varennes RP, Special Rapporteur on minority issues) had equally called on the Government of Morocco to halt the extradition of Idris Hasan to China citing the risk of “serious human rights violations including arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, or torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.

The human rights experts reiterated thatno State has the right to expel, return or otherwise remove any individual from its territory whenever there are “substantial grounds” for believing that the person would be in danger of being subjected to torture in the State of destination, including, where applicable, the existence in the State concerned of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights.”

The experts also recalled the cancellation of the 2017 Interpol Red Notice issued in August 2021, after extensive media reporting on Idris Hasan’s arrest at Casablanca airport at the end of July. Following a revision, Interpol admitted to Moroccan authorities that the notice was deemed “non-compliant” in particular for its violation of article 3 of the Organization’s Constitution, strictly forbidding Interpol to undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character. Despite repeated requests, Interpol is yet to provide Idris Hasan’s defence with the “new information” that led it to confirm that the persecution of this Uyghur human rights defender is based on political, military, religious or racial grounds.


December 16, 2021 - After months of uncertainty, on December 15 the Moroccan Court of Cassation ruled in favor of the People’s Republic of China’s extradition request for Uyghur Idris Hasan (full background story on Idris Hasan’s detention and proceedings here).

Idris was detained on July 19 at Casablanca Airport on the basis of an Interpol Red Notice issued in 2017 that the same Interpol withdrew following extensive media reporting on the case as the Notice was deemed “non-compliant” with the organization’s constitution forbidding persecution on political, religious or ethnic grounds (full background story on Interpol’s cancellation of the Red Notice here).

Interpol conveniently wiped its hands of the case – and has failed to provide legal defense advocated with the “new information” it reportedly received following Idris Hasan’s detention that led it to make the assessment of “non-compliance” – in stating to Moroccan authorities that following the issuance of a provisional bilateral arrest warrant from the PRC the case could move ahead nonetheless under the terms of the bilateral extradition treaty between the two countries that only entered into force following ratification by Beijing on January 22nd of this year. Signaling the PRC’s push for such bilateral treaties in recent years, the treaty was signed in May 2016, in the framework of a strategic partnership between Morocco and the PRC with no less than fifteen agreements signed on the same day by King Mohammed VI and Xi Jinping at the People’s Palace in Beijing, relating in particular to the economic, financial, industrial, cultural, tourist, energy, infrastructure and consular fields. Morocco had ratified the treaty in 2017.

Read Safeguard Defenders report on Chinese misuse of INTERPOL system here.

The case of Idris Hasan – accused of “terrorism” and “incitement to terrorism” by PRC authorities - was the very first under the terms of the new treaty, heightening concerns over the political nature of the judicial proceedings within Morocco. The Court of Cassation charged with ruling over the extradition request without going into the merits of accusations was convened six times before its ruling of yesterday. The written judgment has not been made available to defense counsel yet, but the Court’s ruling will now move to Morocco’s Head of State who will sign the decision into Decree, after which the Ministry of Justice will be charged with its execution in coordination with PRC counterparts.

No internal legal remedies to challenge the decision exist in Morocco. Safeguard Defenders and Mena Rights Group, in consultation with Idris Hasan’s legal team in Morocco, therefore immediately lodged an appeal requesting interim measures with the UN Committee Against Torture, which may consider individual complaints alleging violations of the rights set out in the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment by States parties who have made the necessary declaration under article 22 of the Convention. The Kingdom of Morocco has made such a declaration, allowing for the lodging of such a complaint requesting the stay of execution of the extradition judgment on the basis of the universal principle of non-refoulement.

While we await the decision by the UN Committee Against Torture and in thanking the many actors seized in taking all possible measures and raising their voices to stop this extradition from moving forward, at this time Safeguard Defenders makes the following interim statement:


“We are deeply disappointed the Moroccan Court of Cassation decided to ignore the extensive evidence provided by defense counsel of the certain torture, unfair trial and high risk of enforced disappearance Idris Hasan is exposed to if extradited to the PRC, especially after the withdrawal of the Red Notice by Interpol highlighted the political grounds of his persecution.

As there are no internal legal remedies available, Safeguard Defenders and Mena Rights Group immediately submitted an urgent appeal to the UN Committee Against Torture (CAT) requesting interim measures to stop the execution of this extradition. Morocco would be bound by such a decision from CAT and we rest our hopes that they will issue such interim measures as a matter of urgency.

We also call on all democratic Governments around the world to do everything in their power to stop this extradition, which would come mere days after the independent Uyghur Tribunal established a genocide has been committed by CCP authorities in Xinjiang, an evaluation made previously by Governments and Parliaments around the world.

Members of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China have already written to their local Moroccan Embassies to reiterate their severe concern and asking the Moroccan authorities to abide by its international obligation of non-refoulement.

In August this year, four UN Special Procedures issued a letter to the Moroccan Government highlighting their extreme concern and the ongoing violations in Xinjiang. Only last week, UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights Defenders Mary Lawlor made an express call to release Idris Hasan. We echo this call and reiterate the urgent need to do better to protect these people most at risk.

As more and more people try to escape the cruel regime in the PRC in recent years, the number of legal and illegal means employed by the PRC to hunt them down and bring them back to China “by any means” is rapidly rising. Only last week, Deutsche Welle reported how 90% of Uyghurs abroad have been harassed or intimidated by the PRC, while exiled Hong Kong pro-democracy activists are facing increasing threats.

Safeguard Defenders therefore reiterates its call for the immediate suspension of bilateral extradition treaties with the PRC as called for by the European Parliament and the issuance of special protective and reporting measures for these communities at risk. We cannot stand while their basic rights are being violated around the world.

The case of Idris Hasan tragically demonstrates this. Our thoughts and actions now are first and foremost with him, as well as with his wife and three children who are going through hell, knowing they may never see each other again. This must be stopped and a safe haven should be provided to them as a matter of urgency.”