China denies Turkish claim that Uighur poet Abdurehim Heyit died in Xinjiang

Postado Fevereiro 11, 2019

"It is no longer a secret that more than 1 million Uighur Turks - who are exposed to arbitrary arrests - are subjected to torture and political brainwashing in concentration centers and prisons", Aksoy said in the Turkish Foreign Ministry statement.

China's Xinjiang region is home to around 10 million Uyghurs.

In its last report released on last September, Human Rights Watch blamed the Chinese government for a "systematic campaign of human rights violations" against Uyghur Muslims in northwestern Xinjiang, an autonomous region in the country.

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".

U.S. lawmakers are now considering sanctions against the Chinese officials who are involved in the detention of the Uighurs.

The northwest Xinjiang region of China, where most Uighurs live, has been under heavy police surveillance in recent years, after violent inter-ethnic tensions.

"On this occasion, we invite the Chinese authorities to respect the fundamental human rights of Uighur Turks and to close the internment camps", he said.

Turkey's foreign ministry said Abdurehim Heyit, a renowned singer and master of the dutar stringed instrument who was detained in 2017, died defending his "Turkish and Muslim identity".

Mr Heyit's death could not be independently confirmed.

"Both China and Turkey face the arduous task of fighting terrorism".

"We hope the Turkish side will have a correct understanding of the efforts made by China to legally deploy measures to effectively fight terrorism and extremism, withdraw its false accusations and take measures to eliminate their harmful effects", it said. Droves of Uighurs have fled, many traveling to Turkey, where the language and culture are similar to that in Xinjiang.

After months of denying their existence, Chinese authorities under increasing outside pressure acknowledged the system of camps, terming them vocational training centres.

They have provided little or no information on how many are interned within them and how long they are being held.