109 of ethnic minority group sent back to China from Thailand had wanted to fight in Middle East.
AL-JAZEERA - 12 Jul 2015
Beijing has said that more than 100 members of the minority Muslim
Uighur community, who were returned by Thailand after fleeing China,
were on their way to join armed groups in the Middle East.
China's official Xinjua news agency cited the country's ministry of
public security in a report on Sunday that said the 109 Uighurs
"intended to join jihad" in Turkey, Syria or Iraq.
The report also said a Chinese police investigation had uncovered
several gangs recruiting people to fight, and that Turkish diplomats in
some Southeast Asian countries had facilitated the illegal movement of
The Uighurs were detained in Thailand more than a year ago, but said
they were Turkish. A group of 173 were sent to Turkey after Thai
authorities said they determined they were in fact Turkish, but 109 were
found to be from China, according to Thai deputy government spokesman
Thailand has been harshly criticised by the United Nations, the
European Union and human rights groups for repatriating Uighurs back to
China, where activists say they face widespread religious and cultural
persecution, instead of sending them to Turkey, which has accepted other