Indonesia deported three Uygurs to China following their release from prison this week, before US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit on Thursday, according to a senior Indonesian security source.The source said the action occurred “two to three days ago” – before Pompeo landed in Indonesia for a meeting with President Joko Widodo. During his stop in Jakarta, Pompeo urged Indonesian Muslims and religious leaders not to “look away” from the suffering of Muslim Uygurs in Xinjiang.
“They were sent back to China on a special flight chartered by the [Chinese] government,” the source said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the press.
There was no indication of a connection between the Uygurs being sent back and Pompeo’s visit.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) expressed concerns for the safety of the men, who had been imprisoned for attempting to join a local militant group, saying “they risk facing harsh sentences, including the death penalty, upon their return to China”.Beijing considers many Uygurs to be extremists and claims they are dangerous to China’s national security.