Protesters march on US Capitol to demand end of China’s Uighur persecution

Protesters gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on Friday, marking the 72nd anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China, calling for China to end its persecution of its Uighur Muslim minority.

Over 100 activists, including members of the Uighur community, attended the protest where speakers gave talks to the crowd including members of congress.

Republican Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler and Democratic Congressman Tom Suozzi attended, as well as Rabbi Jack Moline and Nury Turkel, vice-chairman of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), Andalou Agency reported.

Suozzi said he stands by the Uighurs “100 percent” against China’s actions, while Hartzler said US companies that have business relations with China should move their companies out of the Xinjiang region – where the majority of the Uighur community live – as an ethical and moral obligation.

Uighur workers have reportedly been subjected to abusive and exploitative living and working conditions and many of them have even been forced to work in factories in Xinjiang.

Rights groups say more than one million Uighurs and other mostly Muslim Turkic-speaking people have been incarcerated in internment camps across China’s northwestern territory, with residents pressured to give up traditional and religious activities.

Recent reports and satellite imagery also suggest that around 16,000 mosques had been systematically destroyed or damaged in Xinjiang province by Chinese authorities.

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