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French football star severs ties with Huawei

Griezmann ends Huawei sponsorship deal after claims that Chinese firm was involved in surveillance of Uighurs

Can Erözden   | 11.12.2020
French football star severs ties with Huawei

ANKARA 

French football star Antoine Griezmann on Thursday announced ending his sponsorship deal with Chinese technology giant Huawei.

"Following strong suspicions that Huawei has contributed to the development of a 'Uighur alert' through the use of facial recognition software, I am immediately ending my partnership with the company," the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner said on Instagram.

Barcelona forward Griezmann also called on Huawei to not only deny these charges but also taking concrete steps immediately to condemn this “mass repression.”

Griezmann, 29, had a sponsorship deal with Huawei since 2017.

The software is said to help the Chinese police detect Uighurs.

Beijing's policy in Xinjiang region has drawn widespread criticism from rights groups, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, which accuse it of ostracizing millions of Uighurs in China, most of whom are Muslims.

The region is home to 10 million Uighurs. The Turkic Muslim group, which makes up around 45% of Xinjiang's population, has long accused China's authorities of cultural, religious, and economic discrimination.

Up to 1 million people, or about 7% of the Muslim population in Xinjiang, have been incarcerated in an expanding network of "political re-education" camps, according to US officials and UN experts.

A 2018 Human Rights Watch report detailed a Chinese government campaign of "mass arbitrary detention, torture, forced political indoctrination, and mass surveillance of Xinjiang's Muslims."

China, however, has repeatedly denied allegations that it is operating detention camps in its northwestern autonomous region, claiming instead that they are "re-educating" Uighurs.

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