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THAILAND CONDEMNED FOR REPATRIATION OF 109 UIGHURS TO CHINA

July 9, 2015: Thailand deported more than 100 Uighurs back to China, ignoring concerns that the ethnic minority faces persecution by the Chinese government, while protesters in Turkey, which had accepted an earlier batch of refugees, ransacked the Thai Consulate.
Deputy government spokesman Maj. Gen. Verachon Sukhonthapatipak said that Thailand had assurances from Chinese authorities about the safety of 109 Uighurs.
However, in Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that China would take action against those suspected of breaking law.
The group had been in Thailand for over a year, along with others who had fled China and claimed to be Turkish, Verachon said. Thai authorities sought to verify their nationalities before relocating them, he said.
"We found that about 170 of them were Turkish, so they were recently sent to Turkey," he said. "And about 100 were Chinese, so they were sent to China as of this morning, under the agreement that their safety is guaranteed according to humanitarian principles."
The Uighurs are a Turkic-speaking Muslim minority in China's far west Xinjiang region. The group has complained of cultural and religious suppression as well as economic marginalization under Chinese rule.
The office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said it was "shocked" and considered Thailand's action "a flagrant violation of international law."
"I strongly urge the Thai authorities to investigate this matter and appeal to Thailand to honor its fundamental international obligations," Volker Türk, UNHCR's Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, said in a statement.
He said such deportations violate the right to protection against return to a country where a person has reason to fear persecution, and has been described by UNHCR as "the cornerstone of asylum and of international refugee law."
The U.N. agency said it had repeatedly brought up the matter of the Uighur refugees with the Thai government, and "in response, the agency was given assurances that the matter would be handled in accordance with international legal standards, and that the group would continue to receive protection."
China's position is that the Uighurs left the country illegally.
"China's relevant departments will bring those who are suspected of committing serious crimes to justice according to law," Hua Chunying told reporters. "As for those who are not suspected of committing crimes or who commit lesser offences, we will find proper ways to deal with them."
In Turkey, which has cultural ties to the Uighurs and agreed to take in the other 170 refugees despite China's objections, mostly Uighur protesters stormed and vandalized the Thai Consulate in Istanbul. The office was closed on Thursday.
The protesters waved Uighur flags and brought down the Thai flag, smashed windows and demolished pictures and furniture inside the consulate. Police allowed about 100 protesters to pray outside the consulate before taking nine of them away for questioning.
The Thai Embassy issued a statement urging its nationals in Turkey to be on alert for "an expression of dissatisfaction over Thailand's handling of the Uighurs who entered the country illegally."
It also advised tour guides against using the Thai flag while traveling in Turkey and urged the Thais to avoid any protest areas.
China has accused Uighur separatists of terrorism in Xinjiang, where ethnic violence has left hundreds of people dead over the past two years. Last year, Chinese authorities blamed a group of eight Uighurs for a knife attack that killed 31 people at a train station in the southwestern city of Kunming, after the suspects failed to flee the country. Three men caught before the attack were sentenced to death.
"For reasons of realpolitik, Bangkok callously treated these Uighurs as expendable pawns to be sacrificed to big brother China in clear violation of international rights standards," said Phil Robertson, Asia Division deputy director for Human Rights Watch.
The World Uyghur Congress, a German-based advocacy group, said that those repatriated could face criminal charges and harsh punishment, possibly execution, under China's opaque legal system — the reasons they fled China in the first place. (Sources: AP, 09/07/2015)

IRAN: LIVES OF TWO PRISONERS SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR MURDER SPARED BY PLAINTIFFS
MAURITANIA: COURT SLAMS DEATH SENTENCE TO TWO RAPISTS OF UNDER-AGED GIRL
BANGLADESH: SPECIAL COURT ORDERS NEW WAR CRIMES DEATH SENTENCE
ZAMBIA: KILLER FATHER TO HANG
IRAN: PRISONER HANGED IN PUBLIC DURING RAMADAN
NIGERIA: KILLER OF EX-OGUN MAGISTRATE SENTENCED TO DEATH
ISRAEL: KNESSET REJECTS BILL ON DEATH PENALTY FOR TERRORISTS
ZIMBABWE: LAST WOMAN ON DEATH ROW 'SAVED'
BELIZE: LAST MAN ON DEATH ROW HAS SENTENCE QUASHED
MISSOURI (USA): DAVID ZINK EXECUTED
UAE: WOMAN EXECUTED FOR KILLING AMERICAN TEACHER
OBAMA COMMUTES SENTENCES OF 46 NON-VIOLENT OFFENDERS, INCLUDING PEOPLE SERVING LIFE SENTENCES FOR DRUG
NORTH KOREA: MEDIA CONFIRMS DEFENCE MINISTER EXECUTION
INDIA: DEATH PENALTY IS PRIVILEGE OF POOR, SAYS LAW COMMISSION HEAD
ISRAEL: NETANYAHU BLOCKS DEATH PENALTY FOR MASS MURDERING TERRORISTS
INDIA: MPS, LEADERS SEEK REPEAL OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
EGYPT: 464 DEATH SENTENCES IN FIRST YEAR OF SISI'S RULE
THAILAND: JUNTA ADDS DEATH PENALTY TO ANTI CORRUPTION LAW
INDIA: FORMER PRESIDENT A P J ABDUL KALAM FAVOURS ABOLITION OF DEATH PENALTY
EGYPT: 14 MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD MEMBERS SENTENCED TO DEATH
ILLINOIS (USA): GEORGE RYAN CREATES DEATH PENALTY ABOLITION GROUP
IRAQ: 24 SENTENCED TO DEATH OVER SPEICHER KILLINGS
KENYA: MUSLIM CONVERT TO HANG FOR MASS MURDER
NORTH KOREA: FARM MANAGER EXECUTED FOR DEATHS OF DOZEN BABY TURTLES
GHANA: MAN, 59, SENTENCED TO DEATH BY HANGING FOR KILLING GIRLFRIEND
SOUTH KOREA: LAWMAKERS PUSH TO ABOLISH DEATH PENALTY
AFGHANISTAN: HELMAND MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR KILLING WIFE
GAMBIA: PRESIDENT GRANTS AMNESTY TO CONVICTED COUP PLOTTER
IRAN: TWO WOMEN SENTENCED TO DEATH PARDONED BY PLAINTIFFS
EGYPT: ‘TERRORIST CELL’ MEMBERS SENTENCED TO DEATH, LIFE BY GIZA CRIMINAL COURT

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