Uighur Muslims complain of cultural and religious suppression, along with economic marginalisation in China's far western region of Xinjiang.

For some, the only escape is to leave.

Chinese government leaders accuse Uighur separatists of fomenting what they call "terrorism".

Now, Beijing has gone a step further, saying more than 100 Uighurs deported from Thailand on Thursday were heading to join the wars in Syria and Iraq.

The UN refugee agency condemns the deportations as a "flagrant violation of international law". Rights groups fear the Uighurs will be tortured back in China.

It is adding to a growing controversy surrounding the treatment of Uighurs trying to escape what they say is persecution at home.

But should those who have left be made to return?

Presenter: Dareen Abughaida


Victor Gao - director of China National Association of International Studies, a government think tank.

Mustafa Kibaroglu - head of the Department of Political Science and International Relations at MEF University.

Alim Seytoff - spokesman for the World Uyghur Congress.

Source: Al Jazeera