Feb 11, 2019 13:39 UTC
  • China dismisses Turkey’s ‘unacceptable’ criticism on Uighur Muslims

China has dismissed as “unacceptable” Turkey’s allegations over Beijing’s treatment of its Muslim ethnic Uighur community, urging Ankara to retract the “vile” remarks.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Monday that Beijing “has already made solemn representations” in response to accusations made on Saturday by her Turkish counterpart, Hami Aksoy.

Aksoy had accused China of exposing over a million members of the Turkic-speaking minority to “torture and political brainwashing” in “concentration camps.” He had also said those who were not detained were “under great pressure” in the country.

“We invite Chinese authorities to respect fundamental human rights of the Uighur Turks and shut down concentration camps,” the Turkish official had said.

The Chinese spokeswoman described the remarks as “completely unacceptable.”

“We hope the relevant Turkish persons can distinguish between right and wrong and correct their mistakes,” she said.

‘Uighur poet alive, healthy’

The Turkish diplomat had also alleged that Uighur poet and musician Abdurehim Heyit died in a Chinese prison.

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

“I saw his video online yesterday, showing that he is not only alive but also very healthy,” Hua said

A UN panel of experts has claimed that almost one million Uighurs have been held in “re-education camps” in China’s western Xinjiang region, which is home to around 10 million Uighurs.

The community, which makes up around 45 percent of the region’s population, has long accused Beijing of cultural, religious and economic discrimination.

China in turn accuses what it described as exiled Uighur separatist groups of planning attacks in the resource-rich region.

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