US secretary of state Mike Pompeo on Tuesday came out in support of Arsenal player Mesut Özil for his criticism of China’s treatment of ethnic Uighur Muslims, saying Beijing can censor the team’s football games but cannot hide human rights violations, The Guardian reports.
“China’s Communist Party propaganda outlets can censor @MesutOzil1088 and @Arsenal’s games all season long, but the truth will prevail,” Pompeo wrote on Twitter. “The CCP can’t hide its gross #HumanRights violations perpetrated against Uighurs and other religious faiths from the world,” he said.
Last week on Instagram, Arsenal midfielder Mesut Özil posted a poem in Turkish criticizing the treatment that Muslim Uyghurs have been facing in Xinjiang with the East Turkestan flag—the current symbol of the Xinjiang independence movement—as the background, Josh Rudolph writes for China Digital Times:
His Instagram message read: “East Turkistan, the bleeding wound of the Ummah, resisting against the persecutors trying to separate them from their religion. They burn their Qurans. They shut down their mosques. They ban their schools. They kill their holy men. The men are forced into camps and their families are forced to live with Chinese men. The women are forced to marry Chinese men.
“But Muslims are silent. They won’t make a noise. They have abandoned them. Don’t they know that giving consent for persecution is persecution itself?” [Source]
National Endowment for Democracy (NED) President Carl Gershman (left) called Beijing’s policies for Xinjiang and Tibet a “cultural genocide,” borne out by Beijing’s concentration camps in Xinjiang and its imposition of secular rule over Tibetans, Asia Times reports.
Adrian Zenz, a senior fellow in China studies at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, who has published pioneering work on the Xinjiang concentration camps, has now unearthed evidence that points to forced labor, The Washington Post adds. Writing in the Journal of Political Risk, he says, “Since the second half of 2018, limited but apparently growing numbers of detainees have been released into different forms of forced labor.”
The treatment by China’s government of its Muslim Uyghur minority has been both shocking and underreported, but it received a lot more attention this weekend thanks to soccer player Mesut Özil, who criticized China’s treatment of the Uyghurs and the subsequent silence of much of the Muslim world. PBS speaks about the situation with Uyghur activist Ferkat Jawdat (above),
The Hudson Institute hosts a discussion on “China’s Human Rights Abuses in Xinjiang and the U.S. Response.”
Speakers: Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian, Axios reporter; Nury Turkel, chair of the Uyghur Human Rights Project; Adrian Zenz, senior fellow at the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation; Eric Brown, senior fellow, Hudson Institute.
11:45 a.m. December 18, 2019. Venue: Hudson Institute, 1201 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 400, Washington, D.C. RSVP