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US condemns Thai deportation of ethnic Uighur Muslims to China

Uighur

The United States is condemning Thailand’s “forced deportation” of more than 100 ethnic Uighurs and says they could face harsh treatment in China.

State Department spokesman John Kirby says that the action “runs counter to Thailand’s international obligations” and the US is deeply concerned about the protection of asylum-seekers there.

Thailand’s decision to send the minority Muslims back to China has drawn harsh criticism from the UN refugee agency, which called it a “flagrant violation of international law.”

Kirby is urging Thailand to allow remaining Uighurs to depart to a country of their choice, and he’s calling on China to give due process to those deported.

Thailand is a long-standing US ally, but relations have been strained since a military coup last year.