24.2 C
New York
September 28, 2020
Cover

Hong Kong riot police broke up a solidarity rally for China’s Uighurs

Hong Kong riot police broke up a solidarity rally for China‘s Uighurs on Sunday – with one officer drawing a pistol – as the city’s pro-democracy movement likened their plight to that of the oppressed Muslim minority.

The initially peaceful rally descended into chaos when a small group of protesters removed a Chinese flag from a nearby government building and tried to burn it, an AFP reporter on the scene said.

Organisers stopped the flag being burned but riot police then swooped in with pepper spray, sparking anger from the crowd who threw water bottles.

Police detain a man during a rally in Hong Kong today to show support for the Uighur minority in China

Police detain a man during a rally in Hong Kong today to show support for the Uighur minority in China

A man wears a Mesut Ozil football shirt after the Arsenal midfielder spoke out this week about the alleged mistreatment of the ethnic group

A man wears a Mesut Ozil football shirt after the Arsenal midfielder spoke out this week about the alleged mistreatment of the ethnic group

A journalist receives help after being pepper-sprayed by the police following a heated verbal exchange during a rally

A journalist receives help after being pepper-sprayed by the police following a heated verbal exchange during a rally

A man wearing a Guy Fawkes mask which has come to represent global protest movements, while holding a Chinese flag rearranged to look like a swastika

A man wearing a Guy Fawkes mask which has come to represent global protest movements, while holding a Chinese flag rearranged to look like a swastika

One officer drew his side-arm and pointed it at the crowd but did not fire. Multiple protesters were seen being detained.

The rally in support of Uighurs is likely to anger Beijing.

China has faced international condemnation for rounding up an estimated one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim ethnic minorities in internment camps in the northwestern region of Xinjiang.

The emergence of a huge surveillance and prison system that now blankets much of Xinjiang has been watched closely in Hong Kong which has been convulsed by six months of huge and sometimes violent protests against Beijing’s rule.

Pro-Uighur chants and flags have become commonplace in Hong Kong’s marches but Sunday’s rally was the first to be specifically dedicated to Uighurs.

Many of those attending were waving the flag of 'East Turkestan', the term many Uighur separatists use for Xinjiang

Many of those attending were waving the flag of ‘East Turkestan’, the term many Uighur separatists use for Xinjiang

Around 1,000 people gathered in a square close to the city's harbourfront listening to speeches warning that the Chinese Communist Party's crackdown in Xinjiang could one day be replicated in Hong Kong

Around 1,000 people gathered in a square close to the city’s harbourfront listening to speeches warning that the Chinese Communist Party’s crackdown in Xinjiang could one day be replicated in Hong Kong

Police arrest a Hong Kong protester after a Chinese flag was removed from a flag pole during the protest

Police arrest a Hong Kong protester after a Chinese flag was removed from a flag pole during the protest

Around 1,000 people gathered in a square close to the city’s harbourfront listening to speeches warning that the Chinese Communist Party’s crackdown in Xinjiang could one day be replicated in Hong Kong.

‘We shall not forget those who share a common goal with us, our struggle for freedom and democracy and the rage against the Chinese Communist Party,’ one speaker shouted through a loudspeaker to cheers from the crowd.

Many of those attending were waving the flag of ‘East Turkestan’, the term many Uighur separatists use for Xinjiang, which has a white crescent moon on a blue background.

Others wore blue face masks displaying the East Turkestan flag. Flags for Tibet – another restless region of China that has long been under a security lock down – were also flown as well as Taiwan flags.

China runs Hong Kong on a ‘one country, two systems’ model which allows the financial hub key freedoms that are denied people on the authoritarian mainland.

Protesters stand alongside a US flag behind a large banner which reads: 'Hong Kong stands with Tibetans and Uyghurs'

Protesters stand alongside a US flag behind a large banner which reads: ‘Hong Kong stands with Tibetans and Uyghurs’

The initially peaceful rally descended into chaos when a small group of protesters removed a Chinese flag from a nearby government building and tried to burn it

The initially peaceful rally descended into chaos when a small group of protesters removed a Chinese flag from a nearby government building and tried to burn it

Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil (pictured in the sign), a German of Turkish origin, criticised China's actions last week and the Muslim community's silence but has since come under a barrage of attacks from Beijing

Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil (pictured in the sign), a German of Turkish origin, criticised China’s actions last week and the Muslim community’s silence but has since come under a barrage of attacks from Beijing

Come 2047 – 50 years after Britain handed the city back – the deal ends.

Many Hong Kongers fear an increasingly assertive China is already eroding those freedoms, especially since Xi Jinping became president.

Many at Sunday’s rally said they felt a mainland style government is around the corner.

‘The Chinese government are control freaks, they can’t stand any opinions they disagree with,’ Katherine, a protester in her late twenties and a civil servant, told AFP before police moved in.

‘In Xinjiang they are doing what they are doing because they have the power to do so. When they take over Hong Kong they will do the same,’ she added.

A police officer holds his baton as his colleagues detain a man during today's demonstrations

A police officer holds his baton as his colleagues detain a man during today’s demonstrations

Many Hong Kongers fear an increasingly assertive China is already eroding those freedoms, especially since Xi Jinping became president

Many Hong Kongers fear an increasingly assertive China is already eroding those freedoms, especially since Xi Jinping became president

China rolled out a sweeping crackdown on Uighurs and other Muslim minorities after a series of deadly attacks by militants

China rolled out a sweeping crackdown on Uighurs and other Muslim minorities after a series of deadly attacks by militants.

It bristles at any criticism of its policies in Xinjiang and warns against foreign criticism.

Beijing initially denied the existence of the Xinjiang camps, but now says they are ‘vocational training centres’ necessary to combat terrorism.

Few Muslim countries have openly criticised China given its huge economic clout.

But increasingly high profile figures are speaking out.

Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil, a German of Turkish origin, criticised China’s actions last week and the Muslim community’s silence but has since come under a barrage of attacks from Beijing.

Via- Daily Mail

Related posts

Kenya’s tiff relationship with Somalia and Tanzania

warsan

Turkey, rights groups refused to accept Saudi verdict on Khashoggi murder

warsan

African Union And African Private Sector Launch COVID-19 Response Fund

warsan

Leave a Comment