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Protests erupt across China over zero-Covid policy

Neelam Rahimneelam@radioislam.co.za

2 min read
04 December 2022 | 4:03 pm CAT

A protest against China’s strict pandemic controls broke out in Shanghai and other big cities, as well as University campuses, over the weekend. In a significant attestation of the leadership of strongman Xi Jinping and his zero Covid policy. The protests were primarily sparked by a deadly residential fire in Urunqi, the capital of Xinjiang region, on Thursday, killing ten and injuring 9.

The next day residents took to Urumqi streets demanding an end to the lockdown that has barred 4 million residents from leaving their homes for 100 days.

Uyghurs political prison founder of Uyghur Lingwiss, Abduweli Ayup, spoke to Radio Islam International. He said the Chinese authority had not claimed the identity or age of the victims. However, the family members of the victims in Turkey, Switzerland and Finland have stated that all the victims are Uyghur.

He said the youngest victim is eight months old, and the oldest is over 60. Most of the victims are Uyghur children and women.

At the time of the tragedy, social media videos and messages were reviewed. Ayup expressed much grief as he recalled the victim’s cry for help as devastating and heartbreaking.

Regarding the overall resistance by the Uyghur people in the Western part of China. Ayup highlighted the challenges they face.

According to Ayup, religious identity has been a critical factor as mosques have been demolished. Depending on a study, 16 000 mosques were destroyed, leaving 8 thousand mosques still standing, depending on Chinese statistics.

The mosques have been turned into quarantine centres. Pictures of male females even being placed there have surfaced.

He added that Muslims are regarded as terrorists and, upon the mention of Jummah or practising the recitation of the holy Quran, are considered extremists.

Meanwhile, another ruling was the Uyghur language was banned in schools and public administration.

Over 12 million Uyghur-speaking people speak the language, while firefighters speak the Chinese language. The language barrier has prevented communication between the firefighters and victims.

“The Chinese government accuse Uyghurs of three evil forces. The first been the religion of Islam with the second been ethnic identity and the third as separates,” he says.

Listen to the interview with Mufti Moosagie and Abduweli Ayup on Radio Islam’s podcast.

 

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