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Thailand: 90 Uighur Muslims ‘sent back’ to China

9th Jul 2015
Thailand: 90 Uighur Muslims ‘sent back’ to China

[People walk at the streets of Kashgar city, in northwestern China’s Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region on July 08, 2015. Mahmut Atanur/Anadolu Agency]

 

By CS Thana and Max Constant

 

BANGKOK (AA): The Thai government confirmed Thursday that it had deported 90 Uighur migrants back to China.

Government spokesman Weerachon Sukondhapatipak confirmed to Anadolu Agency by phone that the Uighur had been deported “in accordance with protocol” as they had been determined by the government to have originated from China.

Weerachon also confirmed that the Thai government had also repatriated 173 Uighur back to Turkey on July 2.

The World Uyghur Congress, a organization that claims to speak on behalf of the Uighur diaspora, warned against the move saying that the 90 refugees would face persecution and possible punishment by the Chinese government upon their return.

Rights groups Human Rights Watch also called the move a “clear violation.”

“We are still trying to find out details, but if confirmed it is a clear violation of the international law as the Uighur could face serious human rights abuses in China,” Sunai Phasuk, Human Rights Watch representative in Thailand, told Anadolu Agency.

“Thai authorities have often shown very little regard for humanitarian considerations when sending back people where they could face serious human rights violations, as has been the case in the past for Rohingya or Hmong,” he added.

Overnight, crowds were reported to have gathered outside of the Thai consulate in Istanbul as news broke that the Uighur were about to be deported.

Some were reported to have broken into the building, from where they smashed windows and lowered the Southeast Asian country’s flag.

The Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed the attack in a statement Thursday before sending out an alert to Thais living in Turkey warning of possible reprisals.

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