China video seeks to refute reports of Uighur poet's death

China video seeks to refute reports of Uighur poet's death

Large oil fields have been discovered in the Xinjiang region, described by Beijing as "an inseparable part of the unitary multi-ethnic Chinese nation".

China hit back on Monday against Turkish criticism over its treatment of ethnic Uighurs and denied Ankara's claim that a renowned poet from the Muslim minority had died in custody, calling it an "absurd lie".

Mr Aksoy was referring to China's mass incarceration of the Muslim Uyghur minority situated in the north-western province of Xinjiang - a region incorporated into modern China after leaders of the East Turkestan Republic surrendered to the Chinese Communist Party in 1949.

Chinese state media has released a video that it claims proves Abdurehim Heyit, a Uighur poet and musician, is alive, after he was reported to have died in a Muslim detention camp.

"We hope the Turkish side will have a correct understanding of the efforts made by China to legally deploy measures to effectively fight terrorism and extremism, withdraw its false accusations and take measures to eliminate their harmful effects", it added.

"The vocational programs strictly abide by China's constitution and law in protecting human rights and that China respects citizens' freedom of religious belief and protects their normal religious activities", she said during her regular briefing which resumed after the Chinese New Year and Spring Festival holidays.

Uighur Muslims supporters and Turkish nationals burn the Chinese flag in front of the Chinese consulate in Istanbul on July 5, 2018. In a lengthy response posted on its website, China's Embassy in Ankara called Aksoy's comments "completely unacceptable". He said the Turkic Muslim population faced pressure and "systematic assimilation" in western China.

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"We also call on the worldwide community and UN Secretary-General to take effective steps to end the human tragedy in Xinjiang Region", he added. The groups urged the United Nations Human Rights Council to adopt a resolution establishing an global fact-finding mission to Xinjiang.

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

Naidoo said China must be held accountable for its repressive actions.

Numerous UN experts, treaty bodies, and the High Commissioner for Human Rights have expressed grave concern about the situation in Xinjiang and called for unrestricted access to the region.

His detention was considered indicative of China's determination to crack down on Uyghur intellectuals and cultural figures, which some say are attempts at cultural cleansing.

In addition to HRW, Amnesty International, the International Service for Human Rights, and the World Uighur Congress, all stood together to issue the statement - along with a broad range of organizations regionally and globally. "We are now looking to the HRC to act - and get to the truth".

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