Sep 23, 2019 – http://www.swissinfo.ch
By Michelle Nichols
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump called for an end to religious persecution on Monday at a U.S. event on the sidelines of the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations that featured a woman whose Uighur father has been imprisoned in China.
China has been widely condemned for setting up complexes in remote Xinjiang that it describes as “vocational training centres” to stamp out extremism and give people new skills. The United Nations says at least 1 million ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims have been detained.
Trump did not specifically mention Xinjiang and he left the meeting before the woman, Jewher Ilham, spoke, but Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo listened as she slammed the Chinese government. Pompeo said her father – a Uighur scholar – is serving a life sentence as a prisoner of conscience.
“Every day millions of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in China are being abused, drugged and indoctrinated in the government’s concentration camps,” Ilham told the religious freedom event. “Beijing believes Islam is a sickness to be treated with an iron fist
.”In his remarks, Pence briefly criticised China.
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