In Hong Kong and Turkey, people supporting Uighur Muslims marched to condemn China’s discriminatory policy, with some Muslim leaders calling for Chinese goods boycott.
On Friday, December 20, thousands of protesters flocked to Istanbul with banners, condemning China for it violations of the rights of minority Uighur Muslims.
In Hong Kong, people also attempted to rally in solidarity with Uighurs on Sunday, December 22, before China’s riot police dispersed the solidarity protests.
AFP said that the peaceful protests turned into “chaos” when a mall group of demonstrators removed the Chinese flag from a building and tried to burn it.
The organizers of the protests stopped the group group from burning the flag, but riot police swept the area with “pepper spray.”
AFP said that one policeman pointed out a pistol into the crowd. The riot did not fire, however.
France 24 said that police detained numerous protesters during the protests.
The protests against China comes a few weeks after international football player Mesut Ozil slammed China for its discriminatory policies against Uighur Muslims.
“Islamic theological schools, madrasas [Islamic schools] were banned, religious scholars were killed one by one” in China.
Ozil also condemned Muslims’ silence over the situation of their fellows in China.
Since then, China has faced even more backlash from public figures and internet users on social media, despite its denial.
Boycott of Chinese products
Mohd Asri bin Zainul Abidin, a renowned Malaysian preacher joined the list of people who condemned China for Uighur Muslims.
Hetold Al Jazeera on the sidelines of a summit of Muslim-majority countries in Kuala Lumpur that people should boycott China’s product.
“They know the strength of our purchasing power,” he said, emphasizing that the move should “be taken at the highest level of Muslim countries.”
On social media, especially on Twitter, internet users across the world are using hashtag “boycott China’s products” in Arabic to condemn the country’s repressive policies against Uighurs.
One Twitter user said: “ China is terrorist. Stop killing Muslims.”
— Naj (@NajlaAbdul88) December 22, 2019
Commenting on Ozil’ statement, another Twitter user wrote: “some situations make you lose the love of others, but they earn your respect.” The user also used the same hashtag.
The United Nations estimated the number of Uighurs detainees in Xinjiang at one million.
In May, top US defence official in charge of Asia Randall Schriver said that the number “was likely closer to three million citizens,” according to Al Jazeera.