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Govt urged to adhere to rights principles when assessing Uighurs

Jul 17. 2015
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By WIRAJ SRIPONG
THE NATION

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The government has to adhere to human-rights principles and give Uighur migrants access to the justice system before they are repatriated, said the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) after a meeting with concerned agencies.
The NHRC emphasised the following measures: manage the issue on the basis of human-rights principles and international treaties that Thailand signed up to and give the 58 remaining Uighur in the country easy access to legal advice and the judiciary.
NHRC commissioner Niran Pitakwatchara said the judiciary could help verify facts in individual cases. He added that the evidence-verification process before deportation should respect the internal laws and regulations of Thailand and China, where scores of Uighurs have been fleeing. 
“The Uighurs should have the right to protect themselves as they have fled their country of origin over rights violations,” he said. 
He also called on the government to respect the non-refoulement principle, an international law forbidding the handing over of a victim of persecution to the persecutor. He said a report containing the details of the aforementioned recommendations would soon be submitted to PM General Prayut Chan-o-cha. 
The concerned agencies at the meeting with the NHRC were the Foreign Ministry and the National Security Council. Former foreign minister Kasit Phirom and Seree Nonthasoot, Thailand’s representative to the Asean Intergovernmental Commission on Hunan Rights, attended to give advice.
The repatriation of Uighurs to China prompted anger from the Turkic community in Turkey and Europe, with attacks on the Thai Consulate in Istanbul last week.

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