Wednesday, July 15, 2015

China says fleeing Uighurs were 'on way to join jihad' Beijing says

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 people.
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 Verachon Sukhonthapatipak.
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 Uighurs.