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China stops telecast of Arsenal game after star condemns persecution of Uyghurs/ENG

2019. december 16./Phayul.com/TibetPress

eredeti cikk

By Tenzin Dharpo

DHARAMSHALA, Dec. 16: English football club Arsenal FC’s star player Mesut Özil has come under intense backlash over his social media post that condemned China’s persecution of the minority Uyghur people whom he called “warriors who resist persecution”.

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV removed a live game between Arsenal and Manchester City on Sunday after the incident.

The German footballer who plays for the London club on Friday wrote on twitter and Instagram that “(In China) Qurans are burned, mosques were closed down, Islamic theological schools, madrasas were banned, religious scholars were killed one by one. Despite all this, Muslims stay quiet.”

The attacking midfielder ace who is of Turkish descent has since come under heavy criticism for his views that supported the ethnically Turkic Muslim minority group that has been persecuted by Beijing with impunity.

The Chinese Football Association told government-backed news outlet said it was “outraged and disappointed” by the footballer’s remarks. “Ozil’s comments are undoubtedly hurtful to the Chinese fans who closely follow him, and at the same time his comments also hurt the feelings of Chinese people. This is something we cannot accept,” a CFA official told the state mouth piece ‘The paper’.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said Monday that Ozil had been "blinded by some fake news," and wasn't aware of the true situation in Xinjiang, towing the official narrative despite overwhelming global condemnation over the situation in Xinjiang.

Chinese fans have called for boycotting the Arsenal star and going as far as to burn his jersey in video clips shared online. In contrast, a Tibetan living in Dharamshala, Tenzin Dhargyal who is a life-long Arsenal supporter told Phayul, “Ozil is right to have his opinion and that too supporting the Uyghurs who are suffering under Chinese government as my brothers and sisters in Tibet. Its refreshing to see a person of note condemning China for a just cause. He is not afraid and I respect him for his actions, on and off the ground now.”

Independent reports have revealed China is holding as many as one and a half million Uyghurs in concentration camps. Beijing has said that the camps are vocational training centers despite claims by former detainees who have said that the mass incarceration camps are used for torturing and indoctrinating the minority Muslim people.

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