Wed, 29 Mar 2023

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

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

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

"I was aware of what's happening in China about Uyghurs, and I was hoping to be able to speak about that," French street artist Mahn Kloix, who is also a human rights activist, told Radio Free Asia.

As a rights activist, most of Kloix's paintings are of those who have endured injustices, Radio Free Asia reported.

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

"And each time I read stories about people who are locked up or beaten or things like this [Uyghur repression] because of their sexual choices or political point of view or because of their free speech, I feel like this is urging me [on]," he added.

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

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

Beijing has been rebuked globally for cracking down on Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang by sending them to mass detention camps, interfering in their religious activities, and subjecting them to abuse including forced labour. (ANI)

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