(Translated from Uyghur News Uyghur Edition)
The world-famous fashion brand Dior has recently launched a shirt model that resembles the style of a traditional shirt from the Chinese Ming Dynasty.
Around fifty enraged Chinese students gathered to protest in front of the Dior store in Paris on Saturday, June 23. According to reports, the Chinese accused Dior of appropriating their culture and demanded an apology.
Approximately ten human rights activists from Paris learned about the protest and arrived at the scene to protest in front of the Chinese students.
Mr. Merbek, a Kazakh activist from Urumqi, stood in front of the protesters holding a placard that read: “Dresses are more important than human rights.” A Chinese nationalist immediately attacked him. A video recorded at the scene shows that the Chinese nationalist hung onto the poster in Merbek’s hand and tried to push him to the ground by his neck.
Mr. Merbek, interviewed by the Uyghur Times agency, said: “We could not prepare much in advance as we only learned about the protest on the same day. When we arrived at the protest site carrying simple, hand-made posters, the Chinese students mocked us: “They cannot even afford to print posters!’ One of them attacked me when I got up. Then I was rudely driven away by plainclothes police on the spot. I just held the placard and remained silent as it hung around my neck.”
These protesters remained quiet when Uyghurs, Hong Kongers, and Tibetans were suffering, and today they protest for a shirt! It was ridiculous!”
Mr. Merbek said some passers-by looked at the Chinese protesters and asked: “Why don’t you raise your voice for the Uyghurs?”
Mr. Nordine, who works in the French Parliament, was also at the protest site. He told the Central News Agency reporter: “Of course, in France, everyone has the right to express their voice on different issues. We agree with them to voice their opposition to a certain brand. Why is it a human rights issue?”.
“When artists create their work inspired by different cultures such as Arab, Berber, Mongolian, or traditional Egyptian art, do they have to cite the source of inspiration every time? I find it amusing that they are protesting this.”
Mr. Merbek told our agency that Chinese students are planning a similar protest in New York City next Sunday and possibly in London. He emphasized the importance of organizations and individuals in those areas to know the exact location and time of the protest and going to the scene to uncover this kind of fake game by the Chinese.