Turkey Tells China to Close 'Camps' Holding Muslim Uighurs

Last month China passed a law to'Sinicize Islam and make it'compatible with socialism

Last month China passed a law to'Sinicize Islam and make it'compatible with socialism

Beijing has intensified a security clampdown on Uighurs in the north-western region of Xinjiang that was put in place after a bloody 2009 riot.

A famous musician and member of the Uighur ethnic group has reportedly died after being held in a Chinese prison, with supporters claiming he was tortured to death.

"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 on Saturday.

"Uighurs, who are not detained in the camps, are also under great pressure".

Turkey has called on China to close its Muslim internment camps, which are a "great embarrassment for humanity".

"It is no longer a secret that more than 1 million Uighur Turks incurring arbitrary arrests are subjected to torture and political brainwashing in internment camps and prisons", Aksoy said.

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

Turkey called on the global community and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres "to take effective steps to end the human tragedy in the Xinjiang region". The Turkic Muslim group, which makes up around 45 percent of Xinjiang's population, has long accused China's authorities of cultural, religious and economic discrimination.

The northwest Xinjiang region of China, where most Uighurs live, has been under heavy police surveillance in recent years, after violent inter-ethnic tensions.

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 U.S. officials and United Nations experts. Mr Heyit was thought to be serving an eight-year sentence in the Xinjiang region, where up to one million Uighur Muslims are being detained.

Islam is one of the five religions officially recognised by the atheist Communist party.

Abdurrehim Heyit, an Uighur poet and a musician renowned with his songs narrating the Uighur history and culture was born in Kashgar city of Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, in 1964.

Also known by many people in Turkey, the prominent musician performed a concert at Gazi University in Turkey's capital Ankara, in 2015. He was in the prison when he was died.

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