Published: Tue, February 12, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

China Rejects Turkey’s Criticism on Uighurs, Denies Poet’s Death

China Rejects Turkey’s Criticism on Uighurs, Denies Poet’s Death

"The vocational programs strictly abide by China's constitution and law in protecting human rights and that China respects citizens' freedom of religious belief and protects their normal religious activities", she said during her regular briefing which resumed after the Chinese New Year and Spring Festival holidays.

China Radio International's Turkish language service released a 26-second video online late Sunday, showing a man said to be Abdurehim Heyit stating that he was in "good health".

Chinese state media have released a video that purports to prove Uighur poet and musician Abdurehim Heyit is alive.

Sixteen leading global human rights organizations have called for an worldwide investigation into China's mass incarceration of the Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang province.

Turkey, a Muslim-majority country, said the centres were designed for "eliminating the..."

Turkey called on China to close its internment camps for Muslims, saying the camps which reportedly hold a million ethnic Uighur people are a "great shame for humanity".

The full Turkish statement was a strongly-worded condemnation of Beijing's mass detainment of Muslims in the Xinjiang region, which it described as a "human tragedy". Mr Heyit was thought to be serving an eight-year sentence in the Xinjiang region, where up to one million Uighur Muslims are being detained.

A Turkish diplomatic source told Reuters that while it was naturally a positive development if the video was "true" and Heyit was alive, the main issue the Turkish foreign ministry addressed in its statement was the "heavy violations" of human rights in China. He gives the date of the video and says he has "never been abused".

Worldwide rights groups say China routinely coerces detainees into making videotaped confessions which are then broadcast through state media to serve the government's propaganda objectives. The Turkic Muslim group, which makes up around 45 percent of Xinjiang's population, has long accused China's authorities of cultural, religious and economic discrimination.

Beijing has rebuffed accusations by Ankara's foreign ministry of alleged concentration-camps for a Turkic minority group in China, including reports that a famed poet had died in one. "We hope the relevant Turkish persons can distinguish between right and wrong and correct their mistakes", said Hua Chunying, a spokesperson for China's foreign ministry.

China's "re-education" camps: China denied the existence of the so-called "re-education" facilities for months before announcing they were training centers to stop the spread of terrorism and extremism following ethnic riots in 2009 and terrorist attacks in Xinjiang and elsewhere.

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