'Others should join Turkey and defend China's Uighurs'

Uighur musician 'tortured to death in China camp', campaigners claim

Turkey calls on China to end mass detention of Uighur Muslims

"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.

But China on Sunday released a video showing a man who identified himself as Heyit and saying that he was alive and well.

In the statement, Aksoy mentioned the alleged death of 57-year-old Abdurehim Heyit, a well-known Uighur singer and poet. China has filed a formal complaint and called on Turkey to reveal the source of its information, Hua said.

"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.

Up to 1 million people, or about 7 percent of the Muslim population in Xinjiang, have been incarcerated in an expanding network of "political re-education" camps, according to USA officials and United Nations experts.

"Allegations that the Chinese government is liquidating the ethnic, religious and cultural identities of Uighurs and other Muslim communities are totally baseless, " the statement concludes.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry on Saturday called on China to close its detention centres for Muslims, saying the camps said to hold almost a million ethnic Uighurs and other Turkic-language speaking minorities are a "great shame for humanity".

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China hit back on Monday against Turkish criticism over its treatment of ethnic Uighurs and denied Ankara's claim that a renowned poet from the Muslim minority had died in custody, calling it an "absurd lie".

Roth went on to say that the "next step should be the UN Human Rights Council launching an investigation of China's outrages against Uighur and other Muslims in the Xinjiang region".

Magnus Fiskesjo, associate professor of anthropology at Cornell University, said the "manipulative" video appeared to have been released in a panic and bore a striking similarity to China's televised "confessions".

"China has made solemn representations toward Turkey. 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.

"I'm now in good health", he says, and after a pause, adds: "and have never been abused".

China denied the existence of the so-called "re-education" facilities for months before saying they were in fact vocational training centres created to combat religious extremism, and has increasingly been on the front foot in defending its actions.

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