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February 23
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Turkey has condemned China’s treatment of its Muslim ethnic Uighur people as “a great embarrassment for humanity”, adding to rights groups’ recent criticism over mass detentions of the Turkic-speaking minority, The Guardian reported.

“The systematic assimilation policy of Chinese authorities towards Uighur Turks is a great embarrassment for humanity,” Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a statement.

Aksoy also said Turkey had learned of the “tragic” death in custody on Saturday of Uighur poet and musician Abdurehim Heyit.

“We’ve learned with great sorrow that dignified poet Abdurehim Heyit, who was sentenced to eight years in prison for his compositions, died in the second year of his imprisonment,” he said.

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

“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 centres and prisons,” Aksoy said in the Turkish foreign ministry statement.

“Uighurs who are not detained in the camps are also under great pressure,” he added.

Turkey called on the international community and the UN secretary general, António Guterres, “to take effective steps to end the human tragedy in Xinjiang region”.

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