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Turkey calls on China to shut down Uighur "concentration camps"

12 February 2019

However, China responded on Sunday by releasing a video of Heyit which seemed to show him in good health, suggesting that reports of the poet's death may have been exaggerated.

In the 25-second video a man identified as Heyit introduces himself and the date as February 10.

"I'm in the process of being investigated for allegedly violating the national laws", he said in the video, framed by a grey backdrop.

"I'm now in good health and have never been abused", he said, according to the subtitled video.

Turkey had over the weekend released a statement demanding Beijing close its Muslim internment camps, and said Mr Heyit had died in detention.

The authenticity of the video or when it was shot could not be immediately verified.

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.

"China has already made solemn representations toward Turkey".

The foreign ministry spokesman voiced Turkey's expectation from Chinese authorities to consider reactions of Turkish people over serious human rights violations.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said Beijing respected freedom of religious belief and asked Ankara to stop making such accusations in the interests of bilateral ties, according to Efe news.

Uighurs living in Turkey and their supporters, some carrying coffins representing Uighurs who died in China's far-western Xinjiang Uighur region, chant slogans as they stage a protest in Istanbul, against what they call as oppression by Chinese government to Muslim Uighurs in the province.AP In a statement Saturday Feb. 9, 2019, Turkey's foreign ministry has called China's treatment of its minority Uighurs "a great cause of shame for humanity".

A United Nations panel of experts has said that almost one million Uighurs and other Turkic-speaking minorities had been herded into "re-education camps" in China's northwestern Xinjiang region, where most of the country's more than 10 million Uighurs live.

Their language is close to Turkish and a significant number of Uighurs have fled to Turkey from China in recent years.

"It is no longer a secret that more than one million Uighur Turks - who are exposed to arbitrary arrests - are subjected to torture and political brainwashing in concentration centres and prisons".

Hua, however, appeared to leave the door open to patching up the row, saying the two sides should endeavour to maintain "mutual trust and cooperation".

According to global human rights organisations, Uighurs, Kazakhs and other Muslim minorities were being detained in camps on frivolous charges like refusing to give a DNA samples, using minority language or arguing with government officials.

Turkey calls on China to shut down Uighur