For immediate release on 10 July 2015
Thailand has failed to act in compliance with its own extradition law: A breach of domestic law and fundamental human rights principle and an inhuman and degrading act
The government led by Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, Prime Minister, has deported Uighur refugee including 173 women and children to Turkey on 29 June 2015 and another group of Uighur refugee, mostly men to China on 9 July. The deportations were conducted forcibly and without prior notice. Later, the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs in its statement claimed that the deportations have resulted from a request by the Chinese government since these people might have been involved with the commission of illegal acts in China.
The Cross Cultural Foundation (CrCF) deems the forcible deportation of 109 Uighur migrants to China not in compliance with Thailand’s Extradition Act B.E. 2551(2008). Any extradition conducted not in line with legal procedure is tantamount to a breach of domestic law. The procedures require judicial intervention, diplomatic legal procedure and the role of the Office of Attorney General in both countries.
In addition, by sending women and children to Turkey and men to China seems to infringe on fundamental human rights principle since it has broken up families of the refugees. Therefore, it is also a violation of Article 14(1) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) which states that “Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution and Article 16 “The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State”. In addition, Thailand is required to recognize the principle of non-refoulement which prohibits sending a person seeking asylum to a jurisdiction where he or she is likely to be executed or subject to torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
Moreover, during a press interview on 9 July, the PM was quoted as saying toward the end of the interview broadcast that “What can we do? If we did not do this, what else could have been done? Will you let them breed here until they reproduce three litters of offspring? Damn it!” The statement fragrantly reflects an opinion with grossly disrespect on human rights and sounds very degrading to a person.
CrCF is concerned that the policy in breach of fundamental human rights principle and the disdaining statement of the PM may cause damage to international relations and relations with Muslims all over the world. CrCF urges that the government issue an apology to the Uighurs and the world community and review its policy relating to the deportation of the Uighurs to China since it violates both domestic and international laws. Also, the deportation of the remaining 60 Uighurs who have still be held in custody in Thailand has to be stopped. These people warrant protection from Thai both domestic and international laws.
For more information, please contact Mr. Somchai Hom-laor, CrCF President, 02- 6934939
Pornpen Khongkachonkiet, CrCF Director, 02-6934939