Listen Download Podcast
  • RFI English News flash 04h00 - 04h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 10/15 04h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 04h10 - 04h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 10/15 04h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 05h00 - 05h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 10/15 05h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 05h10 - 05h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 10/15 05h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h00 - 06h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 10/15 06h00 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h10 - 06h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 10/15 06h10 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 06h30 - 06h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 10/15 06h30 GMT
  • Paris Live AM 06h33 - 06h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 10/15 06h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h00 - 07h10 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 10/15 07h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 07h30 - 07h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 10/15 07h30 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 10/14 14h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h00 - 14h06 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 10/15 14h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 14h03 - 14h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 10/14 14h03 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h06 - 14h30 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 10/15 14h06 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 14h30 - 14h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 10/15 14h30 GMT
  • Paris Live PM 14h33 - 14h59 GMT Mon-Fri
    Features and analysis 10/15 14h33 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h03 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 10/14 16h00 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h00 - 16h06 GMT Sat-Sun
    News bulletin 10/15 16h00 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h03 - 16h30 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 10/14 16h03 GMT
  • RFI English News flash 16h30 - 16h33 GMT Mon-Fri
    News bulletin 10/15 16h30 GMT
  • Paris Live Weekend 16h33 - 17h00 GMT Sat-Sun
    Features and analysis 10/14 16h33 GMT
To take full advantage of multimedia content, you must have the Flash plugin installed in your browser. To connect, you need to enable cookies in your browser settings. For an optimal navigation, the RFI site is compatible with the following browsers: Internet Explorer 8 and above, Firefox 10 and +, Safari 3+, Chrome 17 and + etc.
Asia-Pacific

Uighur deportation sparks anger in Turkey

media Suspected Uighurs from China's troubled far-western region of Xinjiang sit inside a temporary shelter after they were detained at the immigration regional headquarters near the Thailand-Malaysia border in Hat Yai, Songkla, 14 March 2014. Reuters

Hundreds of Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking, largely Muslim minority, have been deported to China by the Thai authorities — despite calls for their protection. This comes after another 170 were deported to Turkey, where they claim they belong, in late June.

 

More than 300 Uighur Muslims have found refuge in Thailand in the past year, fleeing persecution in China. While 170 Uighurs have been deported to Turkey recently, another 100, among them women and children, have been deported to China instead because they were unable to prove they had relatives in Turkey and were found to be Chinese nationals.

Uighurs are fleeing in the first place because of the repression they suffer from Chinese authorities who consider them separatists and/or terrorists and have cracked down on their religion and culture.

Part of this crackdown is, for example, due to the fact that they have been forbidden to follow the rules of Ramadan during this Muslim holy month.

Both UNHCR and Human Rights Watch representatives in Thailand said they were shocked by the Thai authorities' decision.

This also triggered anger and violence in Turkey's capital, Istanbul. The Thai consulate was attacked, mainly by members of a far-right party in Turkey called the Grey Wolves.

Ahmet Insel, a Turkish political analyst, said they were always trying to show their support, especially to those they consider their brothers.

"The Chinese don’t want these people moving to foreign countries, because they are afraid they will do anti-China propaganda," he told RFI in a phone interview. "They don’t want to see a massive wave of Uighur leaving the country. I think that they wanted to show that if they left and went to Thailand or other neighbouring countries, these countries, under Chinese pressure, would send them back to China."

These recently deported Uighurs could face heavy sentences and further persecution back in China, according to Alim Seytoff, the spokesperson for the World Uyghur Congress.

"First of all, they will be charged for simply fleeing China," he said. "This has become an embarrassment for the Chinese government in front of the international community. And this gives them another excuse to further persecute them. In the past, some were sentenced to many years or life in prison; some others were simple executed for their non-violent opposition of China's colonial ruling."

Many countries have in the past returned members of the Uighur community to China after having been pressured by Beijing

There are still around 50 Uighur Muslims in Thai detention, as the local authorities are trying to determine their nationalities.

 
Sorry but the period of time connection to the operation is exceeded.