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

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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.  

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, haltingly. “I’m in the process of being investigated for allegedly violating the national laws. I’m now in good health and have never been abused.”

Turkey had over the weekend released a statement demanding Beijing close its Muslim internment camps, and said Mr Heyit had died in detention.

The Daily Telegraph was unable to confirm whether the video was authentic.

China hit out against Turkey on Monday, saying its statement was “vile,” and said mention of Mr Heyit dying in custody was an “absurd lie.” 

“China has already made solemn representations toward Turkey. We hope the relevant Turkish persons can distinguish between right and wrong and correct their mistakes,” said Hua Chunying, a spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry.



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