Most of the protesters taking part on Saturday were young, many were students. The protest was the first to be staged by a new collective made up of Belgium Uyghur Association and several youth movements, including the student association Auxillo from Brussels’ Dutch-medium Free University.
Further protests are planned in Antwerp on Saturday 6 March and outside the Chinese Embassy in Brussels again on 11 March.
The Uyghur people, a Turkish-speaking Muslim minority group from north-west China, suffer repression and discrimination by the Chinese authorities. The human rights group Amnesty International says that the Chinese authorities have imprisoned more than 1 million Uyghurs in so-called “re-education camps”. There they are alleged to be subject to torture, forced labour and maltreatment.