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Thailand fines suspected Uighur asylum seekers for illegal entry

Published on Mar 15, 2014 6:01 PM
 
Children, part of a group of asylum seekers, sit in a truck as Thai Immigration officials (not pictured) escort them to a court in Songkhla, southern Thailand, on March 15, 2014. Thailand on Saturday sentenced dozens of asylum seekers thought to be from China's Uighur minority for illegal entry, an official said, despite a US appeal for their protection. -- PHOTO: AFP

BANGKOK (AFP) - Thailand on Saturday sentenced dozens of asylum seekers thought to be from China's Uighur minority for illegal entry, an official said, despite a US appeal for their protection.

About 120 adults among the group were fined 4,000 baht (S$157) each by a court in southern Thailand, according to police, who said they were waiting to identify the families before deciding their fate.

The men will be detained by immigration and the women and children will be taken to a shelter, Police Major General Thatchai Pitaneelaboot said by telephone.

The group of roughly 200 people was discovered in a raid on a suspected people smuggling camp on Wednesday in the kingdom's deep south.

 
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