Date: Jul 12, 2015
By: Ben Blanchard
Some of the Uighurs deported to China last week from Thailand had planned to go to Syria and Iraq to carry out jihad, state television said, showing pictures of them being bundled out of an aircraft with black hoods over their heads.
Hundreds, possibly thousands, of Uighurs keen to escape unrest in China’s western Xinjiang region have traveled clandestinely via Southeast Asia to Turkey.
China is home to about 20 million Muslims spread across its vast territory, only a portion of whom are Uighurs, who speak a Turkic language and are from Xinjiang.
Last week’s deportation of 109 Uighurs from Thailand has sparked anger in Turkey, home to a large Uighur diaspora, and fed concern among rights groups and the United States that they could be mistreated upon their return.
In a report late on Saturday, state television said some of those deported had admitted to being incited by messages from the Eastern Turkestan Islamic Movement, which Beijing says is waging an insurgency for independence in Xinjiang, as well as the exiled group, the World Uyghur Congress. [FULL STORFY]