China condemns Turkey over claim of famed musician’s death


The video was released following condemnation from Turkey, which described China's internment camps as "concentration camps", saying they were "a great cause of shame for humanity".

In a 26-second video posted on Sunday by China Radio International's Turkish language service, a man with a shaved head in a grey sweater identifies himself as Mr Heyit.

Speaking at a daily news briefing in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the video showed Heyit was not only alive, but in very good health, and that Turkey's statements were "extremely mistaken and irresponsible".

He also said he had been informed of the death of famed Uighur musician and poet Abdurehim Heyit, who was serving eight years in jail over one of his songs.

Mr Aksoy said Turkey has shared with China its position on "all levels" and urged authorities to close the detention facilities and respect human rights.

In Saturday's statement, Turkey called on the global community and the United Nations secretary-general "to take effective measures in order to bring to an end this human tragedy in Xinjiang".

Turkey, a Muslim-majority country, said the centres were designed for "eliminating the..."

"It is no longer a secret that more than one million Uighur Turks, - who are exposed to arbitrary arrests - are subjected to torture and political brainwashing in concentration centers and prisons", Aksoy said in the Turkish foreign ministry statement.

A Turkish diplomatic source told Reuters that while it was naturally a positive development if the video was "true" and Heyit was alive, the main issue the Turkish foreign ministry addressed in its statement was the "heavy violations" of human rights in China.

The detention and "re-education" of as many as 1 million Uighurs in far west China has been condemned by human rights groups and prompted calls for sanctions from USA lawmakers, who reject China's assertion that the camps are voluntary education centers that help purge "ideological diseases".

He then says, "I am now in good health and have never been abused". Turkey depends on Chinese financing for major infrastructure projects, while China sees Turkey as an important link in its gargantuan Belt and Road project to expand its economic reach overseas.

Their language is close to Turkish and a significant number of Uighurs have fled to Turkey from China in recent years.

After months of denying their existence, the country has acknowledged the camps, terming them vocational training centres.

Outside of the camps, more than 10 million Turkic Muslim minorities in the region are subjected to a dense network of surveillance systems, checkpoints and interpersonal monitoring, which severely limit their personal freedom.