09/28/2017, 13.27
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Kuala Lumpur arrests and deports 29 Uighurs to China

They had entered the country on false passports. They are accused of being Islamic State militants. The two countries boost anti-terrorism and cross-border co-operation.

Kuala Lumpur (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Sharing biometric information with China since 2011 enabled Malaysia to arrest 29 Uighur militants allegedly involved with the Islamic State group and deport them to China for prosecution, said Malaysia's Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi yesterday.

Many Uighurs, a Muslim Turkic minority living in China’s Xinjiang province, have fled to Southeast Asia to escape Chinese repression. Some have been accused of supporting the ideology of the Islamic State group.

In the name of the fight against terrorism, Beijing has been implementing a policy of repression against this group for decades, along with tight control over its religious activities.

For example, Muslim Uighur are not allowed to fast during Ramadan's month and a special app has been imposed on their mobile telephones so that they could be closely monitored.

"They were arrested after having entered Malaysia through neighbouring countries by using false passports," said Home Minister Datuk Seri Zahid.

Mr Zahid said Malaysia's success in the Uighur deportations had prompted Mr Meng Jianzhu, secretary of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China, to tell him that Beijing had agreed to provide several pieces of equipment for the use of the Counter Messaging Centre supervised by the Royal Malaysia Police.

Malaysia is building the centre to track terrorism-related messages, including obtaining information on terrorists' activities and individuals financing such activities to plan attacks in the country, southern Philippines and southern Thailand.

Cooperation between China and Malaysia will be intensified through the Mutual Legal Assistance scheme where both countries could deport nationals wanted for offences relating to trans-border crimes.

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