Court rules suspected Uighur family must remain in Thai custody

VOA / Thailandnews | .

BANGKOK - A Thai court Friday ruled that a family of 17 - suspected to be Uighur Muslims - must remain in custody until their nationalities are proven.

The court rejected the refugee family's contention that indefinite detention in the kingdom is illegal. It said Thai authorities must continue to hold them until identification documents are received from both China and Turkey.

The case has pitted Turkey against China, with Thailand seemingly reluctant to make a decision that would anger either of those countries.

The family's lawyer, Worasit Piriyawiboon, said all 17 have relatives and a house in Turkey and their nationalities now should be beyond dispute. They all obtained passports from Turkey's Interior Ministry that make them "officially Turkish citizens."

But China claims the refugees are from its Xinjiang region and must be repatriated.

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