In protest against the atrocities committed by the Chinese government on Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China, Islamic scholars and Ulemas of Bangladesh formed a human chain on Thursday at the Dhaka National Press Club.
Under the banner of ‘Uyghur Muslim Rights Council’ (Uyghur Musalmaner Odhikar Parishad), the protestors demanded political and religious rights for the persecuted Uyghur minority Muslims in China’s northwestern region called Xinjiang.
“The Uyghur Muslims are persecuted by the Chinese government and they are not allowed to practice their Islamic faith by the Communist government of China,” said the protestors.
The demonstration was part of Bangladeshi Muslims showing solidarity with their fellow Uyghur Muslims.
Colourful placards depicting atrocities perpetrated by the Chinese, demolition of ancient Mosques to construct public toilets, weeping Uyghur women being paraded to detention centres, enforced birth control measures to control Muslim population, Chinese riot control police hitting hapless Uyghur Muslims were prominently displayed during the protest march.
The event was observed as a token of support to Uyghur Muslims to mark the occasion of Independence Day of ‘the Islamic Republic of East Turkistan’ which is observed worldwide on 12 November.
During the event, Islamic scholars demanded religious freedom to Uyghur Muslims and called on Ummah to pay heed to utter human rights violations perpetrated by the Chinese government in Xinjiang.
They also demanded a UN fact-finding team be allowed to visit various detention camps, stop harassment of Uyghur Muslims, stop reeducation camps, and allow Uyghur Muslims to follow traditional Islamic practices such as Namaaz (prayer), growing of beard, wearing of Islamic dress and scull camps etc.
Since April 2017, more than one million Uyghurs have been detained in a network of internment camps, where they are forced to renounce their ethnic identity and religious beliefs and swear loyalty to the Chinese government.
China’s repressive policies and so-called “re-education centres” have been described by some as akin to the ethnic cleansing of its own Muslim population.
However, China regularly denies such mistreatment and says the camps provide vocational training. People in the internment camps have said they are subjected to forced political indoctrination, torture, beatings and denial of food and medicine, besides being prohibited from practising their religion or speaking their language.