China confirms identity of Uyghurs who escaped to Thailand
Dozens of Uyghur Muslims, who fled from China's restive Xinjiang province to Thailand, have been detained by Thai authorities, officials said.
Beijing: Dozens of Uyghur Muslims, who fled from China's restive Xinjiang province to Thailand, have been detained by Thai authorities, officials said.
The Uyghurs were part of around 300 people caught in raids on human trafficking in Thailand by the local authorities.
A Chinese consulate official in Songkhla in, Thailand surnamed Qin told the state-run Global Times that the consulate has identified some of the male migrants and found out dozens of them were from Xinjiang.
Thai police said the migrants claimed to be Turkish, but the US-based Uyghur activists identified them as Uyghurs.
"The nationality of the women and children has not been identified as far as I know," Qin said.
The consulate is trying to identify the rest and is also negotiating with the Thai government, he said.
"Once we confirm that they are Chinese, they would be sent back to China," Qin said.
It was the first time in recent years that a group of Uyghurs escaped to Thailand, which is now becoming a hub for human traffickers, he said.
Xinjiang is home for over 11 million native Muslim Uyghurs.
The province became restive in recent years following protests by Uyghurs over the increasing settlements of Hans from other provinces.