Turkey tells China to close Muslim 'concentration camps'

Remigio Civitarese
Febbraio 11, 2019

A person wearing a white mask with tears of blood takes part in a protest march of ethnic Uighurs asking for the European Union to call upon China to respect human rights in the Chinese Xinjiang region and ask for the closure of "re-education center" where Uighurs are detained, during a demonstration around the EU institutions in Brussels on April 27, 2018.

The Uighurs are a Muslim Turkic-speaking minority based in the north-west Xinjiang region of China.

He added the Uighurs are being subjected to "torture and political brainwashing in internment camps and prisons".

"In such an environment, we've learned with great sorrow that dignified poet Abdurehim Heyit, who was sentenced to eight years in prison for his composition, died in the second year of his imprisonment", he said.

"This tragic incident has further strengthened the Turkish public's reaction to the serious human rights violations in Xinjiang region".

"We also call on the global community and UN Secretary-General to take effective steps to end the human tragedy in Xinjiang Region", Aksoy added.

Since the 1990s, Uyghur groups have tried to regain independence for East Turkestan through force which China has vehemently quashed.

Beijing has stepped up surveillance and security measures in the Uighur homeland of Xinjiang, in China's northwest, since ethnic riots erupted there in 2009.

The UN has raised concerns that up to 1 million ethnic Uighurs and other Turkic language speakers are being held at the facilities against their will. Critics also warn that internees are subject to rights abuses and cultural indoctrination geared towards stamping out Uighur language and identity.

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.

According to a 117-page report, the Chinese government conducted "mass arbitrary detention, torture and mistreatment" of Uighur Turks in the region.

Heyit, who studied at a Fine Arts School in Kashgar, became a world-renowned poet in a short time with his songs that he sang with his string instrument.

Heyit had been detained in Urumqi, in 2017 without being charged with any crime and sentenced to 8 years in prison.

He was in prison when he died.

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