Turkey calls on China to close in­tern­ment camps for Mus­lims

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE - —Reuters

Is­tan­bul: Turkey called on China to close its in­tern­ment camps for Mus­lims, say­ing the camps which re­port­edly hold a mil­lion eth­nic Uighur 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 Uighurs, who speak a Tur­kic-lan­guage, and other Mus­lims in Xin­jiang province.

“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 late on Satur­day. “It is no longer a se­cret that more than one mil­lion Uighur Turks in­cur­ring ar­bi­trary ar­rests are sub­jected to tor­ture and po­lit­i­cal brain­wash­ing in in­tern­ment camps and pris­ons,” Ak­soy said. Turkey’s re­sponse fol­lows the death of Uighur 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.

—AP

A file photo of Uighurs liv­ing in Turkey protest­ing in Is­tan­bul against what they call op­pres­sion by Chi­nese govern­ment to Mus­lim Uighurs

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