US halts some Cambodia aid over Uighur deportations

US said it had halted shipments of some surplus military vehicles to Cambodia to retaliate decision to deport a group of Uighurs back to China over U.S. protests.

US halts some Cambodia aid over Uighur deportations

US suspends some aid to Cambodia over Uighur case

The United States said on Thursday it had halted shipments of some surplus military vehicles to Cambodia to retaliate for the Southeast Asian nation's decision to deport a group of Uighurs back to China over U.S. protests.

Cambodia deported back to a group of 20 Muslim Uighurs who the Uighur American Association said some in the group had witnessed security forces killing and beating Uighur demonstrators and they could face persecution, including possible execution, in China.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said the United States informed Cambodia last month that it was suspending the shipment of 200 military trucks and trailers as a consequence of Cambodia's December decision on the Uighurs.

"We said there would be consequences and this is a step in that direction," Crowley said.

Cambodia in December defied international pressure and expelled 20 Uighur asylum seekers, a move that underlined its growing economic and diplomatic links with China.

Clashes over the summer between Han Chinese and Muslim Uighur residents in Urumqi, East Turkistan's capital, left 197 people dead, according to Chinese government figures. However, Uighur exile groups said up to 800 people died, many of them Uighurs shot or beaten to death by police.

Uighurs say the violence was initially triggered when police cracked down harshly on peaceful demonstrations in Urumqi that were held in protest of the beating deaths of two Uighur migrant workers at a factory in southern China.

Two days later it signed 14 deals worth an estimated $850 million with China. Beijing denied any link.

Crowley said Cambodian authorities had ignored appeals from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her deputy on the Uighurs, and that Washington had decided that suspending the truck and trailer shipments was an appropriate response.

"This is something that is important to Cambodia, and obviously as we said there would be consequences for their failure to live up to their international obligations," he said.

Amnesty International had said, that it has documented cases in which Uighur asylum seekers or refugees who were forcibly returned to China were detained, reportedly tortured and in some cases sentenced to death and executed since 2001.

Amnesty International also urged the Chinese government to provide the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) with immediate access to the 20 individuals to monitor their well-being.

Here are the names of forcibly deported Uighurs according to Amnesty International.

1. Abdugheni Abdulkadir and family
2. Abulkadir Shahida
3. Abulkadir Bilal
4. Abulkadir Maymuna
5. Abdugheni Halil
6. Abdullah Kasim
7. Ali Ahmat
8. Ali Nur
9. Amat Eli
10. Ebrayim Mamut
11. Hazirtieli Umar
12. Islam Urayim
13. Kuban Kanwul
14. Mahmut Bilal
15. Mamat Ali
16. Mohammed Musa
17. Mutallip Mamut
18. Omar Mohammed
19. Tuniyazi Aikaebaier Jiang
20. Turik Muhamed


Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 02 Nisan 2010, 16:06

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