Dec 17, 2019

Mike Pompeo supports Mesut Özil's comments on Uighur persecution

Arsenal soccer player Mesut Özil. Photo: Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has tweeted his support for soccer star Mesut Özil after the Arsenal player criticized China’s mass detention of Uighur Muslims.

Driving the news: The comments come after Özil's London-based soccer club distanced itself from Özil's comments, with the team putting out a statement that it does not interfere in politics. Chinese broadcaster CCTV then pulled a match between Arsenal and Manchester City in light of the criticism.

What Pompeo's saying:

Background: Özil, a German Muslim of Turkish origin, condemned China on Twitter and Instagram for persecuting Uighur minorities in Xinjiang. He also called out Muslim-majority countries for failing to take action against the persecutions.

Go deeper:

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The world's Muslims are facing unprecedented repression

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Muslim minorities from China to India and beyond are facing discrimination, mass internment, and even extermination at the hands of their own governments.

Why it matters: The global trend is rooted in the U.S. war on terror, inflated fears of Islamic terrorism, and the rise of authoritarian populism around the world.

Go deeperArrowDec 27, 2019

China separating Uighur children from families to re-educate them

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

About a half-million Uighur children have been separated from their families and placed in boarding schools as part of China's effort to eradicate the Uighur identity, The New York Times reports.

The big picture per Axios' Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian: Forced family separation is a tried-and-true method that governments have used to permanently eradicate minority identities and culture. The New York Times reveals for the first time the true scale — and the genocidal intent — of China's intergenerational family separation policies in Xinjiang, a province with a large population of Uighurs.

Go deeperArrowDec 28, 2019

U.S. commission says China may be guilty of "crimes against humanity"

Protesters at the Hague during a visit from Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang. Photo: Pierre Crom/Getty Images

In its annual report released today, the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) said that there is a "strong argument" that China has committed "crimes against humanity" in its northwestern region of Xinjiang.

Why it matters: A growing number of voices, in and out of government, are saying that China's mass detention camps clearly violate international law.

Go deeperArrowJan 8, 2020