Beijing (AsiaNews / Agency) - The two Chinese dissidents arrested in Thailand on suspicion of illegal immigration Jiang Yefei and Dong Guanping, have been repatriated to China and immediately jailed.
The two are members of the Chinese democracy movement and had received refugee status by the United Nations, but that did not stop in Bangkok from sending them back to their homeland and Beijing authorities.
Sources of the Procuratorial Daily, report "according to the mechanisms of cooperation between the police of China and Thailand, Thailand has followed the law and handed the two men over to China on 13 November."
Both activists were targeted by the Chinese police for years. Dong Guangping, who had left China with his family in September, spent three years in jail from 2001 to 2004 for "subversion" and then "disappeared", held in secret detention for eight months in 2014.
Jiang yefei, a political satirist has been in Thailand since 2008. In China he had been arrested and tortured for criticizing the Communist Party on the management of the Sichuan earthquake. He received refugee status in April from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Three weeks ago, human rights activists protested the imprisonment of the two Chinese citizens by the Thai police. According to the authorities, in fact, the two pleaded guilty, and many are convinced that they were coerced given that they did not receive any independent legal advice.
This is not the first incident of this kind. Chinese dissidents often seek refuge in Thailand where they are arrested and sent back to Beijing. In the recent past some members of the Falun Gong spiritual movement illegal in China and persecuted by Beijing, had been forced to sign an indictment submitted by the Thai police; Then, they were transferred to an area north of Myanmar, on the border with China, and from there repatriated. Their fate unknown.
Last July, Thailand forcibly returned nearly about 100 Uyghur to China, a minority persecuted by Beijing.
The government in Bangkok has never signed the UN convention on refugees and does not recognize the concept of political asylum. The only option for Chinese refugees with recognized status by UNHCR is to move to one of the 50 countries in the world that guarantees acceptance.