Turkey accuses China over human rights as ‘poet dies’

Turkey calls on China to close Uighur detention camps

Turkey calls on China to close Uighur detention camps

Abdurehim Heyit is thought to have been serving an eight-year sentence in the Xinjiang region, where up to a million Uighurs are reportedly being detained.

"We invite Chinese authorities to respect fundamental human rights of the Uighur Turks and shut down concentration camps".

The Chinese embassy and consulate in Australia and China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs were also approached for comment.

Sixteen leading global human rights organizations have called for an worldwide investigation into China's mass incarceration of the Uighurs and other Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang province.

Magnus Fiskesjo, associate professor of anthropology at Cornell University, said the "manipulative" video appeared to have been released in a panic and bore a striking similarity to China's televised "confessions".

Turkey had said China's treatment of Uighurs was "a great embarrassment for humanity" - perhaps the strongest condemnation yet from a Muslim country. Analysts say many fear political and economic retaliation from China.

More than 1 million Uighurs are being tortured and "politically brainwashed" in camps and prisons in China, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a statement on the ministry's website on Saturday.

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

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

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She called the Turkish statement "vile" and urged Ankara to withdraw its "false accusations".

Defending their detention camps, Beijing said that "both China and Turkey face the arduous task of fighting terrorism".

The vocational education center is teaching people living in remote areas about the country's common language and law and is aimed at preventing the spread of terrorism and extremism, the embassy said in a statement.

"We expect this legitimate response to be taken into account by the Chinese authorities".

United States lawmakers are now considering sanctions against the Chinese officials who are involved in the detention of the Uighurs.

What do we know about Heyit's fate?

Heyit was a master of the dutar, a type of two-stringed instrument with a long neck that is found in Iran and throughout Central Asia. At one time, he was venerated across China.

Academic Elise Anderson, who studies Uyghur music, noted on Twitter that "his skin is pale and sickly looking".

But three words in the lyrics - "martyrs of war" - apparently led Chinese authorities to conclude that Heyit presented a terrorist threat.

Ethnic Uighurs, the vast majority of the region's Muslim population, have been forced into an environment that seeks to erase their culture.

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