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Azhar denies detention of Uyghur students in Egypt

AZHAR DENIES DETENTION OF UYGHUR STUDENTS IN EGYPT

Al-Azhar University has denied reports about the detention of Uyghur students studying in Egypt.

In a statement, the university said no single Uyghur student was detained on campus or in any Al-Azhar-affiliated school.

Media reports said that scores of Uyghur students enrolled at the university had been detained at the request of China.

"Reports fanned by some websites and channels [about the detained students] were inaccurate," the university said.

It, however, said it was the right of the Egyptian authorities "to ensure the validity of those living on Egyptian territories and that they don't pose any threat to national security".

Egyptian authorities did not comment on the report.

El-Shehab Organization for Human Rights, a Cairo-based NGO, estimates that there are more than 300 Uyghur students enrolled at Al-Azhar University.

Last September, Egypt and China signed cooperation agreements in a number of different fields, including security, according to statements issued by Egypt's Interior Ministry.

The Uyghur people of the East Turkestan region (also known as the Xinjiang Uyghur autonomous region of China) are a Turkic ethnic Muslim minority.

Human rights organizations, activists and analysts have said that Uyghur have been subject to religious, cultural and language restrictions, which have led them to flee China and helped fuel their demands for a separate state.

China has controlled the East Turkestan region since 1949.

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