CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 18 November 2017

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Kuala Lumpur deports Uyghurs

KUALA LUMPUR (AsiaNews): The deputy prime minister of Malaysia, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, reported that the sharing of biometric information with China since 2011 enabled the arrest of 29 Uyghur people accused of being involved with the Islamic State and their deportation back to China on September 29.
 
Malaysia has been a popular refuge from Xinjiang province for China’s Uyghur minority seeking to escape the strict regime being imposed upon them. Some have been accused of supporting the ideology of the Islamic State group.
 
Under the guise of the fight against terrorism, Beijing has been implementing a policy of repression against the group for decades and of late, control over its religious activities has been tightened considerably.
 
The Muslim Uyghur are not allowed to fast during Ramadan and have been forced to download a special app on their mobile telephones that allows them to be closely monitored.
 
“They were arrested after having entered Malaysia through neighbouring countries by using false passports,” the Malaysian home minister, Datuk Seri Zahid, said.
 
Zahid called the deportations a success, explaining that they have prompted Meng Jianzhu, the secretary of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China, to tell him that Beijing would provide several pieces of equipment for the use of the Counter Messaging Centre, which is supervised by the Royal Malaysia Police.
 
Malaysia is building the centre to track terrorism-related messages, including obtaining information on terrorist activities and individuals financing or planning attacks in the country, the southern Philippines and southern Thailand.
 
Cooperation between China and Malaysia will be intensified through the Mutual Legal Assistance scheme, which allows both countries to deport nationals wanted for offences relating to trans-border crimes.

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