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Thai PM Defends Decision to Hand Over Activists to China, Despite their Acceptance to Canada as Refugees

Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, pictured here speaking to reporters at Government House in Bangkok

Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha, pictured here speaking to reporters at Government House in Bangkok

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BANGKOK – Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha has defended the Junta’s decision of the repatriation of two Chinese activists back to China was done properly in accordance with the laws as there were warrants for their arrest from China.

“So when there were warrants for their arrest, we had to send them back,” he explained, adding that it was not possible for the government to find a new home for the two activists in just a few days because of their status as Persons of Concern.

Despite the fact that they had been granted refugee status in Canada and awaiting travel arrangements, while their families left Bangkok en route to Canada for resettlement as refugees, on Wednesday.


Jiang Yefei's wife Chu Ling (2nd left), Dong Guangping's wife Gu Shuhua (1st right) and the couple's daughter Dong Xuerui (2nd right) with activists ahead of their departure from Bangkok

Jiang Yefei’s wife Chu Ling (2nd left), Dong Guangping’s wife Gu Shuhua (1st right) and the couple’s daughter Dong Xuerui (2nd right) with activists ahead of their departure from Bangkok


He said that his explanation about the case was based on facts to create a better understanding. He said he didn’t mind if other people did not understand his explanation but it would be just fine if the Thai people understood what his government did to protect national interest.

The prime minister further said that the government had asked the Chinese government to make sure that the two repatriated activists should not be subjected to mistreatment.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said on Tuesday that Jiang and Dong were legitimate refugees who should not be sent back to China.

“This action by Thailand is clearly a serious disappointment, and underscores the longstanding gap in Thai domestic law concerning ensuring appropriate treatment of persons with international protection needs,” the UNHCR said.

Vivian Tan, regional spokeswoman for UNHCR, told Reuters: “These people are recognized refugees, meaning they were interviewed and their claim of persecution was found to be legitimate,”

“They should not be sent back to a place where their lives can be put in danger.”

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Posted by on Nov 24 2015. Filed under Regional News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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