Friday, 22 February, 2019

China's treatment of Uighurs an 'embarrassment for humanity': Turkey

Turkey Tells China to Close 'Camps' Holding Muslim Uighurs Uighur musician 'tortured to death in China camp', campaigners claim
Ellis Copeland | 12 February, 2019, 12:33

"Even if it is the case that he is alive and that China seems to be scoring a point [by] calling out Turkey ... then that should not obscure the fact that he's being held incommunicado, which itself encourages these kind of rumours flying around".

"The Chinese Foreign Ministry's response to the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs: the allegations are outrageous, we have an official initiative", the tweet read.

"The policy of systematic assimilation against the Uighur Turks carried out by the authorities of China is a great shame for humanity", Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a statement late on Saturday.

Turkey's response follows the death in detention of Uighur poet and musician Abdurehim Heyit, which Aksoy said was a tragedy that had "reinforced the reaction of the Turkish public opinion towards serious human rights violations committed in the Xinjiang region".

In August 2018, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination published a report stating that more than one million ethnic Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim minorities were being detained in massive "no rights" "counter-extremism" camps and another two million were being held in "re-education" camps.

"For too long Uighurs and other Muslims have suffered gross repression at the hands of Chinese authorities", said Dolkun Isa, President of the World Uighur Congress.

"Today is February 10, 2019", he said.

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"I'm in the process of being investigated for allegedly violating the national laws", he said in the video, framed by a grey backdrop. He gives the date of the video and says he has "never been abused".

The authenticity of the video has not been independently confirmed.

CRI said it was released to state media by Xinjiang's regional government. The video released by China Radio International's Turkish-language service, said Turkey's criticism of China was unfounded.

Xinjiang has come under intensifying police surveillance in recent years following repeated riots, bombings and attacks on Chinese security forces and civilians.

China's embassy to Turkey said on Sunday that the vocational education program in China's remote northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region is part of the government efforts to combat terrorism and extremism and dismissed as "false" the claims that it had set up a re-education labor camp to purge the area's ethnic minority.

The Turkish foreign ministry statement said Uighurs were being "subjected to torture and political brainwashing in concentration centres and prisons".

But critics say China is seeking to assimilate Xinjiang's minority population and suppress religious and cultural practices that conflict with Communist ideology and the dominant Han culture.

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