By Uyghur Times Staff
Former President Barack Obama raised his concerns about Uyghurs being detained in concentration camps in China for the first time after leaving his presidency.
In his interview with CNN, when asked about whether it is okay for President Biden to label Xi Jinping as a “dictator,” President Barack Obama said he is less concerned about the label and more concerned about troubling practices, such as the Uyghurs being placed in mass camps and “re-educated.”
the former U.S. president said, “I am concerned about specific practices. It is important for the President of the United States to say that if you have Uyghurs in China who are being placed in mass camps and ‘re-educated,’ that is a problem. That is a challenge to all of us, and we have to pay attention to it.”
This is significant because the former president is popular among liberals and still has a large fan base and supporters.
Obama was accused of remaining silent on China’s long persecution of Uyghurs by Uyghurs and others. In 2015, the World Uyghur Congress accused Obama of not standing up for the human rights of Uyghur people.
During the Obama administration, efforts were made to relocate 17 Uyghurs who were detained in Guantanamo to the United States, but these efforts failed due to opposition within the country.
In 2009, President Obama joked about the plight of the Uyghurs during the Radio TV Correspondents’ Dinner.
President Obama: “Nick at Nite has a new take on an old classic: Leave It to Uyghurs. I thought that was pretty good.”
Obama also joked about the refusal of other countries to accept prisoners held at Guantanamo.
President Obama: “As I have traveled to all these countries, I saw firsthand how much people truly have in common with one another, because no matter where I went there is one thing I heard over and over again from every world leader: ‘No thanks, but have you considered Palau?’”