WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday (Dec 17) denounced China for its heavy-handed actions against Arsenal over footballer Mesut Ozil's support for incarcerated Uighurs, saying Beijing could not hide reality.
Arsenal distanced itself from Ozil but Beijing dropped state television broadcasts of the English Premier League club's Sunday match – a move that could have major commercial ramifications in the lucrative Chinese market.
"China's Communist Party propaganda outlets can censor @MesutOzil1088 and @Arsenal's games all season long, but the truth will prevail," Pompeo wrote on Twitter.
"The CCP can't hide its gross #HumanRights violations perpetrated against Uighurs and other religious faiths from the world," he said.
Chinas Communist Party propaganda outlets can censor @MesutOzil1088 and @Arsenals games all season long, but the truth will prevail. The CCP cant hide its gross #HumanRights violations perpetrated against Uighurs and other religious faiths from the world.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) December 17, 2019
The row comes shortly after China moved to punish the NBA's Houston Rockets after its general manager, Daryl Morey, tweeted his support for Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters.
Ozil, a German national of Turkish origin, tweeted that the Muslim world has been silent on the plight of the Uighurs in a message on the flag of "East Turkestan," which Uighur separatists call the western Chinese region of Xinjiang.
"Korans are being burnt … Mosques are being shut down … Muslim schools are being banned … Religious scholars are being killed one by one … Brothers are forcefully being sent to camps," Ozil tweeted in Turkish.
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