China posts video claiming Uighur poet reported dead in detention is alive

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

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

Hua called the Turkish foreign ministry's statement "vile", and said the claim of Heyit's death was an "absurd lie" and "extremely wrong".

The move came after reports of his death in custody in a Chinese "de-radicalisation" camp in the country's far west.

In a 26-second video posted on Sunday by China Radio International's Turkish language service, a man with a shaved head in a grey sweater identifies himself as Mr Heyit.

"Today is February 10, 2019", he said.

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"I'm now in good health", he says, and after a pause, adds: "and have never been abused".

Reuters was unable to independently confirm the authenticity of the video.

TRT World's Reagan Des Vignes reports.

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".

The minister said Turkey had also learned of the death in prison of famed Uighur musician and poet Abdurehim Heyit, who had been sentenced to eight years over one of his songs.

On Saturday, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said the man, named Abdurehim Heyit, died during his detention and cast the vocational programs as "torture and political brainwashing camps and prisons".

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Uighur diaspora activists said the body language and speech patterns in the video suggested Heyit's testimony may have been coerced and that even digital adjustment could not be ruled out.

Magnus Fiskesjo, associate professor of anthropology at Cornell University, said the "manipulative" video appeared to have been released in a panic and bore a striking similarity to China's televised "confessions".

A day after Turkey slammed China's alleged mistreatment of its Muslim minority population of Uighurs in the Xinjian province, Beijing has refuted the charges along with calling for Ankara to withdraw its statements.

She said Heyit was being held pending investigation for "crimes endangering national security", but referred further questions to Xinjiang authorities, which did not respond to Reuters requests for comment.

The detention and "re-education" of as many as 1 million Uighurs in far west China has been condemned by human rights groups and prompted calls for sanctions from United States lawmakers, who reject China's assertion that the camps are voluntary education centers that help purge "ideological diseases".

Beijing at first denied any Xinjiang detention camps existed, but later admitted people were being sent to what it calls "vocational education centres".

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