Xinjiang education, training centers not akin to concentration camps: China

People protest against the treatment of Uighur Muslims by the Chinese government in Bandung Indonesia

Xinjiang education, training centers not akin to concentration camps: China

The Uighurs are a Muslim minority who speak Turkic, a language similar to Turkish.

In a statement issued on Saturday, foreign ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said: "It is no longer a secret that more than a million Uighur Turks exposed to arbitrary arrests are subjected to torture and political brainwashing" in prisons, adding that those not detained were "under great pressure".

Turkey has called on China to close detention camps holding ethnic Uighurs following the reported death of a renowned musician from the minority.

"The policy of systematic assimilation against the Uyghur 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 February 9. China has interned an estimated 1 million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in re-education camps.

The social media campaign, launched Tuesday under the hashtag #MeTooUyghur, follows the release of a state media video showing famed Uighur musician Abdurehim Heyit, who many believed had died in custody. "We hope the relevant Turkish persons can distinguish between right and wrong and correct their mistakes", Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said during a daily press briefing.

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".

Uighur Muslims supporters and Turkish nationals burn the Chinese flag in front of the Chinese consulate in Istanbul on July 5, 2018.

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China's embassy asked Turkey to withdraw its "false accusations", calling Mr Aksoy's comments "completely unacceptable".

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.

They are based in the north-west Xinjiang region of China, which has come under fierce surveillance from Chinese authorities.

Ankara called on the worldwide community and the United Nations secretary general to take action. The groups urged the United Nations Human Rights Council to adopt a resolution establishing an global fact-finding mission to Xinjiang.

Chinese Kazakhs have also fled overseas to avoid arbitrary detention, and the U.S. Embassy in Beijing on Monday said it was following the case of a one such man who had been fighting attempts by Beijing to return him to China from neighboring Uzbekistan.

The Amnesty International in September 2018 reported deaths and torture of Muslims in these so-called re-education camps, alleging the mass detention centres were places of "brainwashing, torture and punishment" and people who would commit a simple act of messaging family overseas were being detained. Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, said he agrees.

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