RFA: Ethnic Kazakh Man Who Fled China Sent Back to Thailand


Authorities in Uzbekistan have sent an ethnic Kazakh man with Chinese nationality back to Thailand in spite of Beijing’s attempts to have him repatriated, RFA has learned.

Businessman Qalymbek Shahman, 41, initially fled China, which has incarcerated an estimated one million or more ethnic minority Muslim Uyghurs and Kazakhs in “re-education” camps, on Jan. 4, arriving in Thailand, where he took a flight to Almaty in Kazakhstan.

He then boarded a flight to Uzbekistan’s Tashkent airport after being denied entry by the Kazakh authorities, where he was stranded while Chinese officials tried to claim him and take him back to China.

The repatriation bid failed, however, and Uzbek authorities put Qalymbek aboard a flight to Thailand, his port of origin, on Saturday.

An unnamed source told RFA that Qalymbek was dragged onto the plane to Bangkok by Uzbek police.

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