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Turkey hits out at Beijing over its brainwashing of Uygurs

China | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE Feb 11, 2019
Turkey has condemned China's treatment of its Muslim Uygur people as "a great embarrassment for humanity," adding to rights groups' recent criticism over mass detentions of the Turkic-speaking minority. "The systematic assimilation policy of Chinese authorities toward Uygur Turks is a great embarrassment for humanity," Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said. The northwest Xinjiang region of China, where most Uygurs live, has been under heavy police surveillance in recent years, after violent inter-ethnic tensions. Nearly one million Uygurs and other Turkic language-speaking minorities in China have reportedly been held in re-education camps, according to a UN panel of experts. "It is no longer a secret that more than one million Uygur Turks - who are exposed to arbitrary arrests - are subjected to torture and political brainwashing in concentration centers and prisons," Aksoy said. "Uygurs who are not detained in the camps are also under great pressure," he added. Turkey called on the international community and UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres "to take effective steps to end the human tragedy in Xinjiang region." Aksoy also said Turkey had learned of the tragic death in custody on Saturday of Uygur poet and musician Abdurehim Heyit.

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April 2019