A French artist paints the portrait of a Uyghur activist on a building in Marseille


Paris [France] October 20 (ANI): A French artist painted the portrait of an activist from the Uyghur community on a building in the city of Marseille, with the aim of raising public awareness of the plight of the Muslim minority group persecuted in the Xinjiang region in China.

The French artist painted the portrait of Tursunay Ziyawudun, who spoke publicly and testified about his experience in a Chinese internment camp.

The portrait adorns the side of a building that is the regional headquarters of national telecommunications operator Orange in Marseille, a major port city in southern France, Radio Free Asia reported.

“I was aware of what was going on in China with regard to Uyghurs and hoped to be able to talk about it,” French street artist Mahn Kloix, who is also a human rights activist, told Radio Free Asia.

As a human rights activist, most of Kloix’s paintings depict those who have suffered injustices, Radio Free Asia reported.

“I paint portraits of people who are fighting for their freedom and for equality, justice and a better world,” Kloix added.

“And every time I read stories about people being locked up or beaten up or things like that [Uyghur repression] because of their sexual choices or their political point of view or because of their freedom of speech, I feel that urges me [on],” he added.

Uyghurs face discrimination in Beijing’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR), and Chinese authorities are also trying to assimilate the ethnic group by restricting religious practices and the use of the Uyghur language.

China has detained up to 1.8 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in a network of detention camps since 2017, RFA reported.

Beijing has been reprimanded around the world for suppressing Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang by sending them to mass detention camps, interfering with their religious activities and subjecting them to abuse, including forced labor. (ANI)


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