Many Muslim countries ‘silent’ on Uyghur persecution

China holds more than a million people of Turkic ethnicity in concentration camps. Western countries and Turkey have reported the violation of religious freedom. The appeal of Dolkun Isa, president of the World Uyghur Congress.


Washington (AsiaNews / Agencies) - "Many Muslim countries continue to remain silent" about the persecution of the Uyghurs, indeed they "support the repression.

"It is a shame because we are Muslims and suffer religious persecution,” says Dolkun Isa (see photo), president of the World Uyghur Congress, receiving the National Endowment for Democracy award, founded by the US Congress for the promotion of democracy in the world.

The award, a statuette that recalls the goddess of democracy - the statue erected by students in Tiananmen Square in 1989 - was conferred two days ago, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the massacre of students and workers in the central square of Beijing.

The Uyghurs, a Turkic ethnic group living in Xinjiang, have been demanding greater political and economic autonomy for decades, but Beijing accuses them of separatism and terrorism, justifying a harsh policy of military control.

In recent months, the UN has also accused Beijing of establishing concentration camps to eradicate the radicalism of over a million Uyghurs by brainwashing them. Beijing defends itself by saying that such camps are instead a place of professional training for the confined population.

So far this practice - which recalls the Nazi style - has been condemned by Western countries and Turkey, but other Islamic countries have remained silent. For Isa, China is violating the freedom of religion of the Uyghur population, forcing them to eat pork, drink alcohol and not fast during Ramadan. "If they refuse - he explains - they are accused of being radicalized".

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