Protesters in Australia voice solidarity with Uighur Muslims


08 February 2019| 02 Jumadul Aakhir 1440| Anadolu Agency 

Protesters in Australia on Thursday rallied against Chinese oppression of the Uighur Turks in East Turkestan.

Demonstrating in front of the Chinese Consulate in Melbourne, protestors shouted slogans like “Freedom for East Turkestan,” “Freedom for Uighurs,” and “Stop killing Uighurs.”

“We call on the Australian government, the parliament and prime minister to urge a stop to the Chinese persecution. This isn’t just about the rights of the Uighur Turks, but human rights,” Nur Muhammad Turkistani, head of the Adelaide East Turkestanis Association, told Anadolu Agency.

“Millions of Uighur Turks were arrested and persecuted in the camps,” he added.

The protest was organized by the Australian East Turkestanis Association, supported by the Uighur Turks living in the country as well as Australian Turks and Muslims from various ethnic backgrounds.

China’s Xinjiang region is home to around 10 million Uighurs. The Turkic Muslim group, which makes up around 45 percent of Xinjiang’s population, has long accused China’s authorities of cultural, religious and economic discrimination.

China stepped up its restrictions on the region in the past two years, banning men from growing beards and women from wearing veils and introducing what many experts see as the world’s most extensive electronic surveillance program, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Up to 1 million people, or about 7 percent of the Muslim population in Xinjiang, have been incarcerated in an expanding network of “political re-education” camps, according to U.S. officials and UN experts.