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Uighurs to China: Post a video of my missing relatives,

AP  |  Beijing 

Members of the Muslim ethnic group are calling on to post videos of their relatives who have disappeared into a vast system of internment camps.

The campaign, launched early Tuesday under the hashtag #MeTooUyghur, follows the release of a showing famed Abdurehim Heyit, who many believed had died in custody.

"China, show us their videos if they are alive!" Halmurat Harri, a Finland-based activist, wrote on He urged the government to also release videos to prove that others believed detained are in good health amid reports of neglectful and sometimes brutal conditions in the camps.

has come under increasing scrutiny for the camps holding an estimated 1 million minority Muslims in its far west region. Former detainees who fled overseas say that while they were held captive, they were ordered to renounce their faith and pledge loyalty to the ruling through indoctrination tactics reminiscent of the Cultural Revolution.

Beijing, which long denied the existence of such facilities, now says they are vocational training centers where Uighurs, Kazakhs and others receive free skills education. Surveillance cameras, security checkpoints and riot police have become ubiquitous in in recent years, but the government maintains that such measures are necessary to combat separatist violence and latent religious extremism.

In a rare show of public criticism from a majority Muslim nation, on Saturday called China's treatment of Uighurs "a great cause of shame for humanity."

Citing reports of Heyit's death, the Turkish foreign ministry condemned the "concentration camps" and "systematic assimilation" to which Turkic Muslims in are subject.

At a regular press briefing Monday, called Turkey's statement "a very bad mistake." Hua said the video of Heyit, released by the state outlet Radio International, showed that claims of his death were an "absurd lie."

She said the renowned and poet was being investigated for allegedly endangering national security.

The video shows Heyit in a gray sweater against a nondescript, gray wall. He states his name and gives the date as Feb. 10, 2019, then says that he is in good health and has not been abused.

The authenticity of the video could not be verified, and it was not clear where and by whom it had been filmed.

Many Uighurs outside of China have said they are unable to contact relatives still in Xinjiang . Fearing that their loved ones have been ensnared by the security dragnet, they say they do not even know whether their family members are dead or alive.

The mere act of communicating with someone overseas could spur detention, Uighurs say, and as a result many of their relatives in China have blocked them on On Twitter, Uighurs abroad posted photos of themselves holding up images of their missing parents, children and siblings.

If they are still alive, the posts said, the should release videos of them too.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, February 12 2019. 12:20 IST