Turkey demands China close camps after reports of musician's death – BBC News

Turkey demands China close camps after reports of musician’s death – BBC News

Turkey demands China close camps after reports of musician’s death 10 February 2019 These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption John Sudworth reports from Xinjiang, where one million Uighurs have reportedly been detained Turkey has called on China to close its detention camps following the reported death of a renowned musician from the ethnic Uighur minority.
Abdurehim Heyit is thought to have been serving an eight-year sentence in the Xinjiang region, where up to a million Uighurs are reportedly being detained.
A statement from Turkey’s foreign ministry said they were being subjected to “torture” in “concentration camps”.
China described the comments as “completely unacceptable”.
The Uighurs are a Muslim Turkic-speaking minority based in the north-west Xinjiang region of China, which has come under intense surveillance by Chinese authorities.
Their language is close to Turkish and a significant number of Uighurs have fled to Turkey from China in recent years.
So far few Muslim-majority countries have joined in public international condemnation of the allegations. Analysts say many fear political and economic retaliation from China. What did Turkey say?
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”.
“The reintroduction of concentration camps in the 21st century and the systematic assimilation policy of Chinese authorities against the Uighur Turks is a great embarrassment for humanity,” Mr Aksoy said.
He also said the reports of Heyit’s death “further strengthened the Turkish public’s reaction to the serious human rights violations in Xinjiang” and called on UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres “to take effective steps to end the human tragedy” there. China’s hidden camps
Rights groups say Uighurs, Kazakhs and other Muslim minorities are being detained indefinitely without charge for infractions like refusing to give a DNA sample, speaking in a minority language, or arguing with officials. What was Beijing’s response?
In a statement quoted by the Associated Press, China through its embassy in Ankara called on Turkey to withdraw its “false accusations”.
“Both China and Turkey face the arduous task of fighting terrorism. We are opposed to maintaining double standards on the question of fighting terrorism,” it said.
“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.”
Beijing claims that the detention camps in Xinjiang are “vocational education centres” designed to help rid the region of terrorism.
Speaking last October, the top Chinese official in Xinjiang, Shohrat Zakir, said “trainees” in the camps were grateful for the opportunity to “reflect on their mistakes”. What do we know about Heyit’s fate?
Amnesty International said it was very concerned about reports of his death, which has not been officially confirmed.
Heyit was a celebrated player of the Dutar, a two-stringed instrument that is notoriously hard to master. At one time, he was venerated across China. He studied music in Beijing and later performed with national arts troupes.
Heyit’s detention reportedly stemmed from a song he performed titled Fathers. It takes its lyrics from a Uighur poem calling on younger generations to respect the sacrifices of those before them.
But three words in the lyrics – “martyrs of war” – apparently led Chinese authorities to conclude that Heyit presented a terrorist threat. Who are the Uighurs?
The Uighurs make up about 45% of the population in Xinjiang.
They see themselves as culturally and ethnically close to Central Asian nations.
In recent decades, large numbers of Han Chinese (China’s ethnic majority) have migrated to Xinjiang, and the Uighurs feel their culture and livelihoods are under threat.
Xinjiang is officially designated as an autonomous region within China, like Tibet to its south. Related Topics

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Turkey demands China close camps after reports of musician’s death – BBC News

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption John Sudworth reports from Xinjiang, where one million Uighurs have reportedly been detained Turkey has called on China to close detention camps holding ethnic Uighurs following the reported death of a renowned musician from the minority.
Abdurehim Heyit is thought to have been serving an eight-year sentence in the Xinjiang region, where up to a million Uighurs are reportedly being detained.
A statement from Turkey’s foreign ministry said they were being subjected to “torture” in “concentration camps”.
China described the comments as “completely unacceptable”.
The Uighurs are a Muslim Turkic-speaking minority based in the north-west Xinjiang region of China, which has come under intense surveillance by Chinese authorities.
Their language is close to Turkish and a significant number of Uighurs have fled to Turkey from China in recent years.
So far few Muslim-majority countries have joined in public international condemnation of the allegations. Analysts say many fear political and economic retaliation from China.
What did Turkey say? 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”.
“The reintroduction of concentration camps in the 21st century and the systematic assimilation policy of Chinese authorities against the Uighur Turks is a great embarrassment for humanity,” Mr Aksoy said.
He also said the reports of Heyit’s death “further strengthened the Turkish public’s reaction to the serious human rights violations in Xinjiang” and called on UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres “to take effective steps to end the human tragedy” there.
China’s hidden camps The long read: China’s hidden camps Explainer: China’s Muslim ‘crackdown’ Xinjiang legalises ‘re-education’ camps Rights groups say Uighurs, Kazakhs and other Muslim minorities are being detained indefinitely without charge for infractions like refusing to give a DNA sample, speaking in a minority language, or arguing with officials.
What was Beijing’s response? In a statement Quote: d by the Associated Press, China through its embassy in Ankara called on Turkey to withdraw its “false accusations”.
“Both China and Turkey face the arduous task of fighting terrorism. We are opposed to maintaining double standards on the question of fighting terrorism,” it said.
“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.”
Beijing claims that the detention camps in Xinjiang are “vocational education centres” designed to help rid the region of terrorism.
Speaking last October, the top Chinese official in Xinjiang, Shohrat Zakir, said “trainees” in the camps were grateful for the opportunity to “reflect on their mistakes”.
What do we know about Heyit’s fate? Amnesty International said it was very concerned about reports of his death, which has not been officially confirmed.
Heyit was a celebrated player of the Dutar, a two-stringed instrument that is notoriously hard to master. At one time, he was venerated across China. He studied music in Beijing and later performed with national arts troupes.
Heyit’s detention reportedly stemmed from a song he performed titled Fathers. It takes its lyrics from a Uighur poem calling on younger generations to respect the sacrifices of those before them.
But three words in the lyrics – “martyrs of war” – apparently led Chinese authorities to conclude that Heyit presented a terrorist threat.
Who are the Uighurs? Image copyright Getty Images The Uighurs make up about 45% of the population in Xinjiang.
They see themselves as culturally and ethnically close to Central Asian nations.
In recent decades, large numbers of Han Chinese (China’s ethnic majority) have migrated to Xinjiang, and the Uighurs feel their culture and livelihoods are under threat.
Xinjiang is officially designated as an autonomous region within China, like Tibet to its south.

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SM Krishna: Quit Congress, government due to Rahul Gandhi’s interference | India News – Times of India

MYSURU: Former Karnataka chief minister SM Krishna , who was external affairs minister in the Manmohan Singh government, on Saturday said he had to quit the government and Congress party because of “constant interference” from Rahul Gandhi .
The BJP leader on Saturday took a jibe at the Congress chief, saying he forced him out of the party. He said he had to resign from the post of external affairs minister as it had become unbearable to continue due to constant interference. He had also talked about this when he resigned in 2017.
“Ten years ago, Rahul was an MP and didn’t hold any party post but would interfere in all matters. Even though Manmohan Singh was the PM, many subjects were taken up without bringing it to his notice.
Congress did not have any control over alliance parties. It was then that all major scams like 2G spectrum , Commonwealth and coal were reported. Such situations arise when there’s no able leadership,” said Krishna who later crossed over to BJP.
“As I was in power in the UPA government from 2009 to 2014, I’m equally responsible for all good and bad things which happened then,” he said, adding that the then PM did not have control over his cabinet and government as everything was being controlled by Rahul who acted like an extra-constitutional body.
The former CM talked that the atmosphere in Congress during 2009-2014, repeating his charge that he had to quit the government despite having served ” efficiently” for three-and-a half years because of Rahul’s “order” that those who had turned 80 should not be in government.
After joining BJP, Krishna has largely kept away from active politics but participated in the campaign against former CM Siddaramaiah during the previous assembly elections.
With Lok Sabha elections nearing, Krishna has reappeared to influence voters in his home town Maddur from where he started his political career. Appreciating the leadership of PM Modi and comparing him to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Krishna said India is marching towards progress under the Modi rule.

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Brexit: May to ask MPs for time to change deal – BBC News

New ideas for the Brexit border backstop
He also ruled out removing the Irish backstop from the government’s deal with the EU, as some Conservative MPs are demanding.
He said ministers were exploring a possible time-limit to the backstop, or a legal mechanism allowing the UK to exit the backstop without the agreement of the EU, but he insisted some kind of “insurance policy” was needed to keep the Irish border free-flowing.
Please upgrade your browser Your guide to Brexit jargon Enter the word or phrase you are looking for Search
But Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary, Sir Keir Starmer, says he believes the prime minister is “pretending to make progress” on the Irish backstop issue.
He says what she actually intends to do is return to Parliament after the 21/22 March European Council summit the week before Brexit and offer MPs a “binary choice” – her deal or no deal.
“We can’t allow that to happen,” Sir Keir told The Sunday Times .
“There needs to be a day when Parliament says that’s it, enough is enough.” ‘Completely irresponsible’
Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable said delaying the final vote on the Brexit deal was “worse than irresponsible” and he “would not be surprised if [Theresa May] faces a massive rebellion by Conservative MPs”.
Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston, who like Sir Vince has campaigned for another EU referendum, called for ministers who were “serious” about preventing a no-deal Brexit to resign and vote against the government.
Fellow Conservative MP Heidi Allen also called for ministerial resignations, saying it was “completely irresponsible” for the government to keep delaying the final Brexit vote. Skip Twitter post by @heidiallen75 It is completely irresponsible to keep delaying, sensible Ministers who are worried, MUST step up this week. Parliament can find a way forward & end the no deal risk if given the opportunity, but we backbenchers can’t do it w’out their support. They know who they are. Country 1st https://t.co/MrmIJXdpkm Report End of Twitter post by @heidiallen75
Labour is proposing its own Brexit plan, which would involve the UK staying in a customs union with the EU, which they say could get the backing of a majority of MPs.
The government has not ruled out supporting this – and has promised a formal response to it and further talks with Labour – but they say it would prevent the UK from making its own trade deals after Brexit. Image copyright PA Image caption Theresa May and her husband Philip arriving at a church service on Sunday
There are fewer than 50 days until Brexit. The law is already in place which means the UK will leave the EU on 29 March 2019.
Mrs May’s Brexit deal – which she spent months negotiating and had agreed with the EU – covers the terms of the UK’s divorce and the framework of future relations.
But it was rejected by the UK Parliament and if it is not approved by Brexit day, the default position would be a no-deal Brexit.
Last month, Parliament voted in favour of an amendment that supported most of the PM’s deal but called for backstop – which is a last-resort option to prevent a hard border in Ireland – to be replaced with “alternative arrangements”. The prime minister is now in talks with Brussels to seek these changes to the backstop.
A number of government ministers will also be meeting their counterparts across the continent this week, in order to underline Mrs May’s determination to achieve a deal.

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