by Keith Locke
There has rightly been a big international outcry at Cambodia returning 20 Uigher asylum seekers to China, where have been detained.
The deportation, on December 19, flies in the face of all refugee law, that people shouldn’t be returned to persecution.
Heavy political pressure and bribery seems to have worked for Beijing. Just after the deportation China confirmed a grant of $900 million to Cambodia.
China is describing the asylum seekers as ‘criminals’ yet their only crime has been to document the government crackdown last July in Xinjian province (or as the Uigher people call it, West Turkestan).
It demonstrates once again what Uigher leader Rebiya Kadeer explained during her Green Party-sponsored visit here last October: that China’s government is completely hostile to the Uigher people’s rights.
To make matters worse China has just begun sentencing another 20 more ethnic Uighur’s to death for their alleged role in the July riots.
The Key government should join the international condemnation of Cambodia for its callous and illegal deportation of the Uighers. The United States has made a strong statement, saying the deportation will affect its relations with Cambodia.