Thousands protest for Uyghur Muslims outside Chinese embassy in London
Hundreds of protesters rallied outside the Chinese Embassy in London on Saturday calling for the freedom of Uyghur muslims, as the official building took down its flag, according to protest organisers and eyewitnesses.
The protest was organised by Islam21C - a project set up to provide digital representation for British muslims - with support from over 50 Muslim organisations and was attended by over 2,500 demonstrators, Islam21C told The New Arab.
Protesters took to the streets and social media using the hashtag #Stand4Uyghurs to demand the shutdown of China's concentration camps, which experts estimate over one million muslims have been incarcerated in, in a Beijing crackdown against those practising Islam in Xinjiang.
"The Chinese Embassy... have actually took down their flag, they're scared of you," one speaker allegedly said in a video shared to social media, echoing comments protesters made to The New Arab regarding the removal.
"We are here to show our solidarity as part of the Muslim Ummah... and fulfil our Islamic obligation towards oppressed Muslims in China," one protester Shabih Hasan told The New Arab.
"We want to send a message to the Muslim Rulers around the world to come to the aid of Uyghurs and put pressure on the Chinese government to change [their course of actions]," Hasan continued.
"There was a lot of raw emotions and strong feeling [of solidarity for the] suffering of our Uyghur brothers & sisters [at the demonstration]," another protester Mohamed Asif told The New Arab.
The protest has also been widely shared across social media.
"Glad that so many Muslim organisations have united on this. Time to raise the profile, spread the word!," Aisha tweeted, as she described the protest as "long overdue".
The statement sparked outrage from Beijing, who have long denied the accusations of ethnic cleansing against them.