China has railed at Turkish claims it is mistreating its Uighur minority after a dispute about the fate of a prominent musician, BBC reported on Monday.
Turkey cited reports Abdurehim Heyit had died in a detention camp and called China’s treatment of the Uighurs a “great embarrassment for humanity.”
China then released a video allegedly showing Heyit alive.
The Uighurs are a Muslim minority in northwestern China who speak a language closely related to Turkish.
They have come under intense surveillance by the authorities, and up to a million Uighurs are reportedly being detained. A significant number of Uighurs have fled to Turkey from China in recent years.
China has asked Turkey to withdraw its “false” claims. A Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman said the musician was “very healthy.”
“We hope the relevant Turkish persons can distinguish between right and wrong and correct their mistakes,” spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters.
The video was released by China Radio International’s Turkish-language service, which said Turkey’s criticism of China was unfounded.
Dated Feb. 10, the video features a man said to be Heyit stating that he is in “good health.”
The musician appears to say he is “in the process of being investigated for allegedly violating national laws.”
He gives the date of the video and says he has “never been abused.”
The man is wearing civilian clothes and is speaking the Uighur language.
Turkey’s foreign ministry had said that detained Uighurs were being subjected to torture in “concentration camps.”
Foreign ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said the reports of Heyit’s death “further strengthened the Turkish public’s reaction to the serious human rights violations in Xinjiang.”
China has described the comments as “completely unacceptable.”