NUMBER OF UIGHUR ESCAPEES STANDS AT 20 – THAI POLICE CHIEF

BANGKOK, Thailand — The police have clarified that the number of ethnic Uighur who escaped from an immigration detention centre in Sadao, southern Thailand several days ago was 20, with one of them re-arrested yesterday.

According to National Police Chief, Gen Chakthip Chaijinda, the number of Uighur escapees still at large and believed to have slipped into Malaysia’s border are 19 and not 15, as what was stated by Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan Tuesday.

“Yes, one of the escapees was arrested today,” he told the media at the Royal Thai Police headquarters here yesterday.

Malaysia’s Kedah state police chief Asri Yusoff yesterday announced that one of the Uighur escapees was recaptured in Bukit Tangga, near Bukit Kayu Hitam Tuesday evening.

Meanwhile, the national police chief said five other Uighurs in the detention centre attempted to join 20 of their counterparts in fleeing the centre but failed to do so as they were promptly detained.

A total of 25 ethnic Uighurs awaiting repatriation attempted to flee the detention centre but only 20 of them managed to do so, said Chakthip.

In the 2am (local time) incident, a group of 20 ethnic Uighurs in the detention centre bored a hole in their cell’s wall and abseiled the secured building by using blankets before heading into the nearby jungle.

The escapees who had been detained in the centre since 2014, were suspected to be heading to the jungles near the Thailand-Malaysia border. Eight of centre’s officers have been transferred out of the facility as the authorities launched an investigation into the incident.

Asked if any country had approached Thailand about the incident, Chakthip said a certain country, believed to be China, was perturbed over the incident and the state of the detention centres in the country.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lu Kang reportedly said it would follow the incident closely and urged the Thai Government to bring the relevant people to justice.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK