China has been facing backlash, but criticism intensified after international football player Mesut Ozil publicly slammed the country for its policies and restrictions against Uighur Muslims.
Rabat – International rugby star Sonny Bill Williams has joined the list of celebrities who are publicly denouncing China for its detentions of Uighur Muslims.
Bill Williams, a New Zealander, used Twitter to condemn the human rights violations against Muslims on December 22.
“It’s a sad time when we choose economic benefits over humanity #Uyghurs,” wrote the rugby player on his Twitter, using sad emojis to express his sympathy.
China is facing widespread backlash over its treatment of Muslim Uighurs. The detentions again came to world headlines and public attention after international football player Mesut Ozil strongly condemned China for its actions and Muslims for their silence on the crisis.
“Islamic theological schools, madrasas [Islamic schools] were banned, religious scholars were killed one by one” in China, he said.
— Sonny Bill Williams (@SonnyBWilliams) December 22, 2019
The UN estimates that 1 million Uighur Muslims are in detention in China.
In addition to Ozil and Bill Williams, a recent summit in Malaysia put the issue of the Uighur Muslims on central stage.
During the summit, influential preacher Mohd Asri bin Zainul Abidin called on Muslims to boycott Chinese products.
“They know the strength of our purchasing power,” he said, emphasizing that the move should “be taken at the highest level of Muslim countries,” he told Al Jazeera.
Hundreds of activists also marched in Turkey, where Ozil’s parents are from, and Hong Kong to express solidarity with the Uighur Muslims last week. On December 20, protesters demonstrated in Istanbul to condemn China’s violations.
Police also broke up a rally in solidarity with the Uighurs in Hong Kong on December 22.