US: Protesters march near White House, demand 'Free China'
Washington: About 200 people lit candles and shouted “Free China!” two blocks from the White House on Sunday as they demonstrated against China's severe control imposed to contain COVID-19 rise.
Protesters in Freedom Plaza held up signs saying, “No Censorship,” demanding that President Xi Jinping and the ruling Communist Party give up power. They held up blank sheets of paper, a symbol of opposition to the party’s pervasive censorship. Some yelled, “Free China!”, reports South China Morning Post.
The protests erupted on November 25 after at least 10 people died in a fire in Urumqi, a city in China’s northwest Xinjiang region.
Authorities rejected suggestions firefighters or people trying to escape might have been blocked by antivirus controls. But the disaster became a focus for public frustration with curbs that confine millions of people to their homes, the newspaper reported.
“I did not care much about these public issues before as it did not happen to me,” a Chinese student, who would give only her surname, Liu, due to fear of retaliation, told the newspaper.
“The Covid policy is really improper,” said Liu. “Now that I am in a country with free speech, I shall do my best when my rights can be protected.”
Who are Uyghur Muslims?
Uyghur Muslims are a Turkic minority ethnic group originating from and culturally affiliated with the general region of Central and East Asia.
The Uyghurs are recognized as native to the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China.