Date: May 18, 2018
The local governments in Xinjiang have forbidden all celebrations of the holy month of Ramadan that started this week, reports ChinaAid. Muslims from the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture, Changji, and other districts in Xinjiang, describe how local officials force Muslim restaurants owners to work during Ramadan and notify elementary and middle schools teachers to warn students against fasting. Some neighborhoods even arranged dinner parties for retired government officials and Communist Party members to prevent fasting.
In response, the World Uyghur Congress based in Germany urged the Chinese government to respect freedom of religion and the rights of ethnic minorities. Dolkun Isa, the president of the World Uyghur Congress, emphasized that the restrictions on religious activities during Ramadan have worsened over the years in China. He remarked that respect for the basic human rights is the only way to prevent major ethnic conflicts.
The World Uyghur Congress has also urged the Chinese government to protect the citizens’ freedom of religion and release all prisoners detained in reformation camps, including all political prisoners, social activists, writers, poets, and entrepreneurs.