Uyghur asylum seeker dies after 9 years in detention

PHOTO: Aziz Abdullah, a Uyghur asylum seeker held in Bangkok for nine years, has died. (via BBC)

Aziz Abdullah, a 49 year old Uyghur asylum seeker, died after being detained for years at the Bangkok Immigration Detention Centre. His death sparked outrage from human rights groups. They are calling for a humane solution for the plight of around 50 Uyghur asylum seekers who have been detained in Thailand for about nine years.

Abdullah, a farmer from southwestern Xinjiang, arrived in Thailand in late 2013 with seven children, along with his brother and wife, who was pregnant at the time. The group was en route to Turkey via Malaysia when they were stopped in southern Thailand.

Activists like the director of the Refugees Centre of the World Uyghur Congress claim that Thai authorities refused to send Abdullah to the hospital, even though he had been very sick for nearly a month.

“He was coughing and vomiting blood, he could not eat. A doctor at the IDC examined him but said his condition was normal.”

Related news

Authorities finally relented only when he collapsed. But he was pronounced dead soon after arriving at the hospital. The death certificate said it was a lung infection.

Following Abdullah’s death, authorities contacted the office of the Chularatchamontree, the leader of Thailand’s Muslim community, to arrange for his immediate burial, in accordance with Islamic custom.

China has been accused of committing crimes against humanity against Uyghur Muslims and other minorities in Xinjiang. Human rights groups believe more than a million people have been held in a vast network of detention camps in recent years.

The Thai authorities have provided all Uyghur asylum seekers in the bureau’s custody with food, medicine, and other necessities. However, activists are concerned about the conditions in which they are being held and are calling for a solution to their plight.

Human rights groups and activists are now calling for a thorough investigation into the circumstances of Abdullah’s death and the treatment of Uyghur asylum seekers in Thailand.

Bangkok News

Thaiger Talk

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Neill Fronde

Neill is a journalist from the United States with 10+ years broadcasting experience and national news and magazine publications. He graduated with a degree in journalism and communications from the University of California and has been living in Thailand since 2014.

Related Articles

Check Also