12/22/2018, 08.00
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Asian's Islamic countries criticize China over Uighurs. But not all

Malaysia and Indonesia condemn Beijing's oppressive policies, defended by Pakistan. According to the UN, there are at least one million prisoners in extra-judicial detention centers in Xinjiang. Indonesian Foreign Ministry: "Freedom of religion is a human right, responsibility of all countries to respect it".



Kuala Lumpur (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Detention camps and human rights violations against Uighurs and other Islamic minorities in the Xinjiang region of China are shaking Islamic countries in Asia. But their governments are divided: the politics of the "scorched earth" implemented by Beijing sparks the condemnation of Malaysia and Indonesia, but Pakistan defends China and denounces the "sensationalism" of foreign media.

According to UN estimates, there are at least one million prisoners in the many extra-judicial detention centers in Xinjiang. By denying any wrongdoing, Chinese officials describe the camps as "vocational training centers" for people attracted by Islamist extremism and separatism.

Malaysian Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Datuk Marzuki Yahya,  reiterated three days ago that Kuala Lumpur "disapproves of all forms of oppression against any ethnic or minority group". Marzuki, however, underlined the "cautious approach" that distinguishes his government on issues that affect other countries.

With reference to what happened to the ethnic Uyghur minority in Xinjiang - he said - Malaysia has expressed its opinions and recommendations on the international scene, so that China guarantees the rights, freedom of religion and harmony of its people. Therefore, the government has constantly monitored developments in the region and will continue to seek the best solution to this problem through the regional and international cooperation forums ".

On December 17, the Indonesian Foreign Ministry announced that he had summoned the Chinese ambassador, Xiao Qian, to convey to him the concerns of Indonesian Muslims about the situation of the Uighurs. Arrmanatha Nasir, spokesman for the ministry, said that "freedom of religion and belief are human rights and it is the responsibility of all countries to respect them".

According to reports by international organizations, dozens of women who married men from the Pakistani region of Gilgit-Baltistan, on the border with China, are among those detained in the Xinjiang camps. But unlike Malaysia and Indonesia, Pakistan is defending Beijing. Mohammad Faisal, a spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Islamabad, said yesterday that "part of foreign media is trying to sensationalize the issue, spreading false information".

According to some analysts, the Pakistani position is motivated by the close economic ties between Beijing and Islamabad, recipient of billion dollar investments. Among these, there are plans for the modernization of the dangerous mountain road connecting Gilgit-Baltistan to Xinjiang.

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