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Turkey concerned about Uighurs, urges China to protect freedom of religion in Xinjiang

Turkey concerned about Uighurs, urges China to protect freedom of religion in Xinjiang
FILE PHOTO: Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu attends a meeting on forming a constitutional committee in Syria at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, December 18, 2018. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo -
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GENEVA (Reuters) - Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu voiced concern on Monday at China's alleged mistreatment of Uighurs and other Muslims in its Xinjiang region and called for authorities to protect freedom of religion and cultural identity.

Without specifically mentioning mass detention camps reported to hold one million Muslims - which China says are centres for vocational education - Cavusoglu told the U.N. Huamn Rights Council that "reports regarding human rights violations against Uighurs and other Muslim communities in Xinjiang are serious cause for concern".

"We encourage Chinese authorities and expect that universal human rights, including freedom of religion, are respected and full protection of the cultural identities of the Uighurs and other Muslims is ensured," he told the Geneva forum.

China has rejected all accusations of mistreatment in the camps.

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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