Hundreds of people on Sunday took part in a rally in support of the Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang, expressing concern that Hong Kong will soon face similar oppression if Beijing tightens its grip on the territory.
Some waved black flags calling for Hong Kong Independence during the rally at Edinburgh Place, as participants chanted slogans such as "Stand with Muslims, stand with freedom". Some yelled out "Hong Kong independence is the only way out!"
A medical worker surnamed Tse linked the allegations of systematic repression of Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang to what he says are increasingly tight controls of the population in Hong Kong.
“Even in in these few months, or a year or two, [the sort of things that] we see in Xinjiang like surveillance, patriotic education, could also happen in Hong Kong,” he said.
“What they’re trying to do is they’re trying to re-educate the population. They’re forcing people to love the country even though you don’t need to force someone to do that, so I’m pretty sure that’s going to happen here as well”, he added.
Others spoke out in support of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil for his vocal criticism of China’s ‘crackdown’ on Uighurs in Xinjiang on social media.
One fan, Frank, said it’s not just Ozil who needs to speak out.
“Anybody, whether he or she be Muslim, or Christian or any other religion, has really got to speak out right now as a matter of conscience, against the gross, terrible human rights abuses that are going on right now in Xinjiang province”, he said.
Beijing initially denied the existence of the Xinjiang camps, where up to a million Uighurs are thought to be held, but now says they are "vocational training centres" necessary to combat terrorism.
Last updated: 2019-12-22 HKT 18:34