July 18, 2015

"Rights groups say such migrants are mostly fleeing ethnic violence in Xinjiang and Chinese controls on their religion and culture."

Channel News Asia An exiled minority rights group slammed a Chinese state television report on Saturday that suggested ethnic Uighurs who had been forcibly repatriated after fleeing the country had returned to a "heaven on earth". by Megha Rajagopalan via Reuters

'The report came as China makes efforts to keep its ethnic Uighurs from leaving the country. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of members of the largely Muslim ethnic minority have left China in recent years, clandestinely crossing into southeast Asia before making their way to Turkey.

'Friday's China Central Television report showed two Uighur farmers in the far-west region of Xinjiang returning to a peaceful life in China. One, a fruit farmer shown tending his orchard, says he only fled the country because he was "confused" and "muddleheaded".

'"Religious extremism affected me," said the farmer, whose name was given as Mexmut. "The government approves our legal religious activities very much."

'Dilxat Raxit, a spokesman for the exiled World Uyghur Congress, called the report a propaganda tool.'

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