China Hints at Trials for 20 Seeking Asylum

The Chinese government has indicated that a group of Uighurs deported from Cambodia after seeking asylum there may be put on trial, the New York Times reports:

“China is a country ruled by law,” Ma Zhaoxu, a Foreign Ministry spokesman, said in a written statement to The New York Times. “The judicial authorities deal with illegal criminal issues strictly according to law.”

Mr. Ma’s statement came last week in a brief reply to a list of detailed questions The Times sent to the Foreign Ministry inquiring about the fate of the Uighurs.

Chinese officials promised to deal with the Uighurs in a transparent manner when they were returned to China in December, but the Chinese government has so far refused to release any information on the whereabouts and well-being of the Uighurs. After the Uighurs showed up in Cambodia late last year, Chinese officials said they were being investigated for possible crimes related to deadly ethnic rioting that broke out in the western region of Xinjiang in July.


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