No: 199, 9 July 2015, Press Release Regarding Thailand’s Refoulement of Uyghur Turks

We learned with great sorrow that 115 Uyghur Turks who were under custody in Thailand were sent to a third country contrary to their free will.

Non-refoulement is a fundamental principle of international law which is applicable not only for refugees or persons having similar status but for everyone whose right to life may be violated or subjected to torture in case they are returned forcefully by way of deportation or repatriation. This principle is clearly regulated in 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and 1984 Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

We deplore this act of the Government of Thailand, which is in contravention also of international humanitarian law, carried out in spite of our numerous initiatives before Thailand and related international institutions.

Turkey and the international community will continue to follow closely and carefully the fate of our kinsmen.