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Turkey calls on China to close internment camps for Muslims

February 10, 2019 at 1:28 pm

Chinese Muslim men leave following Eid al-Fitr prayers marking the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan at the historic Niujie Mosque on June 16, 2018 in Beijing, China [Kevin Frayer/Getty Images]

Turkey called on China to close its internment camps for Muslims, saying the camps which reportedly hold a million ethnic Uyghur people are a “great shame for humanity”.

Last week, rights activists urged European and Muslim nations to take the lead in establishing a UN investigation into China’s detention and “forced indoctrination” of up to one million Uyghurs, who speak a Turkic-language, and other Muslims in Xinjiang province.

“The policy of systematic assimilation against the Uyghur 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, adding:

It is no longer a secret that more than one million Uyghur Turks incurring arbitrary arrests are subjected to torture and political brainwashing in internment camps and prisons

Read: US mercenaries linked to UAE agrees deal with China to run anti-Muslim detention camps

Turkey’s response follows the death of Uyghur poet and musician Abdurehim Heyit in custody.

Beijing faces growing international pressure over its so-called “de-radicalisation” programme in its far western province.

Ankara called on the international community and the UN secretary general to take action.

China says it protects the religion and culture of its ethnic minorities and that security measures in Xinjiang are needed to counter groups that incite violence there.