30 July 2015
Thailand recently deported more than 100 Uighur illegal refugees back to China, triggering criticisms from Turkey and US, as well as the UN and human rights groups. The legalistic perspective of the media skirts the existential threat posed by the illegal traffic of Uighur refugees to the security of Thailand and Southeast Asia.
Thailand recently deported 109 Uighur refugees back to China, a move that was met with international criticism and questions concerning the legal status of the Uighurs as illegal migrants or refugees. Thailand defended its decision on the grounds that it was a third country, and to show that it would keep some Uighur refugees, it rejected Beijing’s request to return all of the Uighur refugees in Thailand’s detention camps.
The decision to deport the Uighur refugees sparked widespread protests in Turkey, with which the Uighurs share linguistic, cultural and ethnic ties. Both the Thai embassy in Ankara and the consulate in Istanbul were attacked and had to be temporarily shut. The US and the UN expressed strong concerns that the deportations were in violation of international law, while human rights groups like the Uighur American Association condemned the deportation of the Uighur Muslims.
… Stefanie Kam Li Yee is an Associate Research Fellow at the International Center for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR) at S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
ICPVTR / Online
Last updated on 16/11/2015