The Malaysian government sent 11 Uyghur refugees from China’s Xinjiang province to Turkey after dropping immigration charges against them in defiance of a request by Beijing that they be returned there, their attorney said Thursday.
The move came after a Kuala Lumpur Court granted a request by prosecutors to apply a discharge not amounting to acquittal. Fahmi Abdul Moin, a lawyer representing the Uyghurs, said his team sent a letter in July to the Attorney General’s Chamber asking that the charges be dropped.
Officials with the Attorney General’s Chamber, as well as the home minister and his deputy could not be reached for comment late on Thursday.
In a letter seen by BenarNews, Fahmi raised the issue of the alleged systematic oppression of the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang and discrimination against them by the Chinese government, which have forced many to flee the country.
“As such, my clients are part of the victims of the ongoing turmoil in the Xinjiang province and were forced to escape,” Fahmi told BenarNews, , an RFA-affiliated online news service.