Wed. May 18th, 2022

Protesters accuse the Chinese state of committing genocide and torture against the Muslim Uighur minority.

Dozens of Chinese protesters Uighur Muslim ethnic group protested in Istanbul and called for a boycott of next month’s Winter Olympics in Beijing over China’s treatment of the minority.

The protesters gathered outside the city’s Turkish Olympic Committee building on Sunday and waved the blue and white flags of the East Turkestan independence movement, a group that Beijing says threatens the stability of its far-western region of Xinjiang.

“China, stop the genocide; China, close the camps, “the protesters chanted, while some held up a banner reading” Stop Genocide Olympics “.

“China does not have the right to host the Olympics while committing all the torture, cruelty and genocide against Uighurs,” said Uighur housewife Munevver Ozuygur, who said she had family members in camps in China.

People from China's Uighur Muslim ethnic group protest outside the city's building of the Turkish Olympic CommitteeAbout 50,000 Uighurs apparently live in Turkey [Umit Bektas/Reuters]

UN experts and rights groups estimate more than a million people, mostly from Uighur and other Muslim minorities, have been detained in camps in Xinjiang over the past year.

Beijing deny genocide or the existence of forced labor camps in Xinjiang and accused Uighurs who testify overseas about conditions in the northwestern region of being paid liars.

After initially denying the existence of the Xinjiang camps completely, China later defended them as vocational training centers aimed at reducing the appeal of “extremism”.

The United States and many of its allies, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Japan and Denmark, have said they will not send official diplomatic delegations to the Games in protest of China’s judicial record. The Winter Olympics begin on February 4th.

The US has sanctions slammed on a growing list of Chinese politicians and companies on the treatment of the Uighurs, leading to measures by Beijing.

China has approved European, British and American lawmakers, as well as academics studying Xinjiang and a London law firm.

‘Deceiving people’

Some 50,000 Uighurs, with whom Turks share ethnic, religious and linguistic affiliations, are believed to live in Turkey, the largest Uighur diaspora outside Central Asia.

Last month, 19 Uighurs a criminal complaint with a Turkish prosecutor against Chinese officials, accusing them of committing genocide, torture, rape and crimes against humanity.

Uighurs living in Turkey have criticized Ankara’s approach to China.

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said this month that he had conveyed Turkey’s “views, expectations and sensitivities” about the Uighurs to his Chinese counterpart during talks in Beijing.

“The world, Turkish countries and Islamic countries must wake up. China is currently committing genocide, “said protester Abdurrahman Taymaz.

“They deceive people. We want these Olympic Games to be boycotted as soon as possible. “

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